ISLAMABAD - Joao Paulo Marques Sabido Costa, the Chargé d'affaires en pied (designate) of Portugal in Islamabad, presented his credentials to Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz yesterday.

Following the ceremony of presenting the credentials, Sabido Costa called on the adviser. The meeting encompassed all areas of bilateral cooperation including trade and investment, parliamentary relations and people-to-people contacts.

The adviser expressed his satisfaction over the progress of bilateral relations. Issues of regional and global importance also came under discussion.

The adviser briefed the charge d’ affaires on Pakistan’s perspective of the regional situation as well as Pakistan’s fight against terrorism. The meeting was held in a cordial environment.

Separately, Parliamentary Under Secretary for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom, Tobias Ellwood called on Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Tuesday and discussed the entire range of Pakistan–UK bilateral relations.

The adviser and Mr Ellwood reiterated the desire of their respective governments to strengthen this relationship. Special emphasis was placed on increasing bilateral trade and investments from the UK to Pakistan.

The adviser stated that Pakistan was an investor-friendly country and offers excellent business opportunities. He emphasised the need to encourage the British small and medium entrepreneurs to invest in diverse areas of Pakistan’s economy.

The adviser also highlighted the prime minister’s desire of a peaceful neighbourhood. He also briefed Ellwood on Pakistan’s counter-terrorism efforts and the National Action Plan. He also discussed the situation evolving in the region especially Afghanistan and impressed upon his interlocutor that Pakistan desired peace and stability in the region.

Mr Ellwood appreciated Pakistan’s counter-terrorism efforts and the National Action Plan and said that the resultant improvement to the security situation would help in improving the climate for investment and trade in Pakistan. He applauded the desire of the Pakistani leadership for a peaceful neighbourhood. The efforts of the government for social and economic welfare were also praised. The meeting was held in a cordial and friendly environment.