Press Releases

HISTORIC PRESS RELEASE : Prime Minister Gordon Brown welcomes new Pakistani President [September 2008]

The press release issued by 10 Downing Street on 16 September 2008.

The newly-elected Pakistani President, Asif Ali Zardari, has met with Gordon Brown for talks this morning.

Mr Brown congratulated the President on his election as a significant step in Pakistan’s democratic transition.

In a joint statement released after the meeting concluded inside Downing Street, agreed that the Governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan should lead efforts to combat extremism along their mutual border, with the support of the international community.

The two leaders also agreed that a stable and strong democracy in Pakistan would play an important role in promoting peace in the region.

Speaking at his press conference last week, the PM said that a new strategy was needed to deal with the situation along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

“… the insecurity on the border, and the porousness of the border … is a problem for both countries and we have got to approach this with a new security strategy and that is one of the things we are discussing at the moment.”

President Zardari is the husband of assassinated former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

Justice Secretary Jack Straw is currently in Pakistan to back the building of strong democratic institutions in helping Pakistan’s stability.

Speaking to students at the International Islamic University in Islamabad earlier today he said:

“Pakistan’s security is Britain’s security; as Britain’s security is Pakistan’s. A strong, stable and secure Pakistan is vital to UK interests at home and abroad, not least in Afghanistan.”