ISLAMABAD - A German delegation led by Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen met with Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif and discussed steps to further enhance defence cooperation between the two countries.

Minister Khawaja Asif emphasised that Pakistan and Germany have cooperation areas in defence and would like to further enhance the scope of ties. Pakistan has the capacity of producing ammunition, communication equipment, heavy machinery and aircrafts, which the German side greatly appreciated.

Khawaja Asif gave an overview of improved security situation in Pakistan and briefed the visiting dignitary on successes of Zarb-e-Azb and salient features of National Action Plan.

German Defence Minister praised Pakistan’s role in peace initiatives in the region, particularly on Eastern and Western Borders. She appreciated the positive trajectory of Pak-German Relations and emphasized further enhancement of ties especially in the field of defence.

The German Defence Minister appreciated the agreement on joint venture signed between HIT and German companies. She welcomed Pakistan’s fruitful participation in Munich Security Conference held in February 2015.

She also appreciated the peace efforts vis a vis Afghanistan and the level of cooperation extended by Pakistan to bring peace and stability to the region. She said “Pakistan has done quite a lot to bring peace to the region. It has welcomed the new Government in Afghanistan and has fully supported it. She added that cooperation at defence and military level with Afghanistan is commendable however, it is most necessary that peace efforts are backed and supported by all stake holders”.

Both sides termed the meeting as fruitful. At the end of the meeting a dinner in honour of the visiting delegate was hosted by Khawaja Asif and attended by Secretary Defence Lt Gen (Retd) Muhammad Alam Khattak and other very senior military officials.

The secretary defence welcomed the delegate hoping that Pakistan and its efforts for maintaining peaceful balance in the region will be understood and appreciated. He said “Pakistan the fulcrum of Security for South Asia and all players must realize and work towards betterment of the region”. The German Defence Minister will be meeting other senior officials on the 2nd and last day of the visit.