PARIS - Pakistan and France have agreed to enhance broad-based cooperation in number of areas.

During the during 11th round of bilateral consultations held here on Friday, Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani led the Pakistani side while French Secretary General Foreign and European Affairs Pierre Sellal led French team.

The talks covered a wide range of issues, including political and strategic matters, security, trade and investment, defence, culture and consular matters.

Pakistani delegation invited the French President, the prime minister, president of the National Assembly, Senate and foreign minister to visit Pakistan. The French side welcomed the proposals and stated that the French leadership will visit Pakistan on mutually agreed dates.

The bilateral talks covered implementation on three Joint Declarations signed during Prime Minister’s visit last year. The declarations include Joint Statement on Pakistan-France Comprehensive Partnership, Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation and Joint Declaration on Economic and Commercial Partnership. Recent visit of Ambassador Stanislas-de LABOULAYE to Pakistan in connection with French withdrawal from Afghanistan through Pakistan came under discussion. The French side also agreed to continue and expand defence cooperation with Pakistan. Pakistan assured full cooperation and support to French government in early withdrawal of its forces from Afghanistan.

While acknowledging the need of enhanced bilateral economic cooperation, both sides agreed to activate Joint Business Council and Joint Trade Committee.  It was also agreed that new initiatives were required from both sides to ensure more facilitating environment for normal business activity to flourish.

The French side agreed to explore the possibility of resumption of Air France flights to Pakistan.

The Pakistan side offered to discuss more flexible Air Services Agreement in this respect.

The exchange of regular business and trade missions was also agreed upon. The French government reiterated its support to Pakistan in EU and its entry into revised GSP+ scheme, as committed in the Joint Declaration on Economic and Commercial Partnership.

It was agreed that UbiFrance and TDAP will hold joint briefings and seminars on Pakistani economy in France.

It may be mentioned here that French Government has already committed more than 80 per cent of its 300 million Euros pledge for development of Pakistan since Tokyo conference in 2009.

Cultural cooperation together with exchange of students in the universities of both the countries, post graduate scholarships for Pakistani students and sharing of data of prisoners held in each others’ countries were also discussed.