ISLAMABAD - The foreign ministers of Pakistan and Germany met on Saturday and exchanged views on increasing bilateral cooperation between the two countries. Germany is an important trading partner for Pakistan. Diplomatic sources told The Nation that German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle arrived Saturday and met his Pakistani counterpart Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi and discussed host of issues including bilateral relations and security situation on Pak-Afghan border. During his stay, Westerwelle would inspect German projects to aid victims of last year's floods. Earlier, the visiting dignitary landed in Lahore after his flight was diverted because of fog and poor visibility. He arrived in the Federal Capital later in the evening. Reuters adds: The German government will ask parliament this month for approval to start withdrawing troops from Afghanistan at the end of the year, excerpts of the proposal obtained by Reuters showed on Saturday. The disclosure came during a trip to Pakistan by German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, who lauded Islamabad's role in combating militancy and underlined a need for closer cooperation between the nuclear-armed state and Afghanistan. The pullout proposal, drafted by foreign and defence ministry officials, is set to be agreed by Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet next week before it is sent to the lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, for approval on January 28. The measure is likely to pass easily, with opposition backing. "The government is confident it will be able to reduce the presence of German troops from the end of 2011, during the handover of responsibility for security," the proposal reads. Speaking to reporters after talks with Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Westerwelle said his country appreciated Islamabad's efforts in fighting militancy, but called for cooperation between Islamabad and Kabul to tackle the menace. "We encourage Pakistan and Afghanistan to closely cooperate in the interest of stability and peace," he told reporters in Islamabad, flanked by Qureshi. Qureshi sought more cooperation in the defence field and asked his German counterpart to liberalise export control policy to help Pakistan modernise its means of fighting militants. "We feel that there is German equipment that could be provided to the armed forces to enhance our capacity in dealing with counter-terrorism," he said. "German equipment is good equipment." Westerwelle said he was hopeful a coming move by the European Union to lower trade barriers for imports from Pakistan would help stabilize the country's economy.