Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 7th October 2008.

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Photo of John Howell John Howell Conservative, Henley

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on the election of the new President of Pakistan; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Bill Rammell Bill Rammell Minister of State, Foreign & Commonwealth Office

The Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary spoke to President Zardari on 7 September to congratulate him on his election and reiterate Britain's commitment to working closely with the Government of Pakistan to support measures that promote stability, democracy and the rule of law. The Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary met President Zardari in London on 16 September and told him that the UK stands ready to assist the Government of Pakistan in combating the shared threat of violent extremism and meeting the economic challenges Pakistan faces.

The Foreign Secretary also saw President Zardari in New York on 25 September and joined him at the lunch of the Friends of Pakistan Group on 26 September.

The accession of President Zardari to the leadership of Pakistan with a 68 per cent. majority completes the transition to full democratic civilian rule for the first time in nine years.

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