ISLAMABAD Pakistan and Norway on Monday sought to further strengthen and broaden bilateral ties in order to promote peace and stability in the region. According to the official sources, both the countries agreed to further enhance bilateral cooperation in various fields especially defence sector at an important meeting held here between Minister for Defence, Ch Ahmed Mukhtar, and the visiting Norwegian Defence Minister, Ms Grete Faremo. The meeting exchanged views on various subjects including defence cooperation, Pakistans counter-terrorism efforts, its contribution in UN peacekeeping operations and security situation of the region. Talking to his Norwegian counterpart, the Minister said that Norway was a friendly country and a valued partner on various international and regional issues, and Pakistan was keen to work closely with Norwegian government for furthering the bilateral relations. He said both countries needed to enhance collaboration in the field of defence production and proposed to undertake joint ventures especially in shipbuilding and sea boats manufacturing sectors. The Minister also conveyed that Pakistan was keen to purchase F-16 aircraft fleet which was reportedly being replaced by Norway with F-35 Lightning-II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). The meeting also discussed Pakistans anti-terror efforts. The Minister briefed the Norwegian defence delegation about the contribution and achievements made by Pakistan in the war on terror. He said that the international community was not helping Pakistan in true sense as the war on terror was a very expensive affair. He noted with concern that the international community had given hopes but failed to fulfil its commitment to establish Reconstruction and Opportunity Zones (ROZs) in FATA which were essential for bringing social and economic prosperity in the terror-stricken region. He termed the recent statement of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a press conference with the Indian Prime Manmohan Singh in Berlin as unfortunate blaming Pakistan for the Bombay terrorist attacks. He regretted that the friendly countries were giving such biased and unfair statements despite the fact that Pakistan had been paying a heavy cost than any other country in the world, in terms of man and material losses, in the war on terror. On the issue of cross border movements, the Minister said that there was no cross border movement by the terrorists from the Pakistans side of the border. He said that it was not understandable that Pakistan was being blamed for the skirmishes taking place in Afghanistan despite the fact that NATO/ISAF forces manned Pak-Afghan border. The Minister also appreciated the Norwegian support for the internally displaced persons (IDPs), flood victims and the development of Pakistan social sector particularly its assistance of US $ 7 million and US $ 11 million for the establishment of 350 community schools in FATA and basic improvement projects in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province respectively. Admiring Pakistans sacrifices and anti-terror contribution, Grete Faremo said that Pakistan had been playing a vital role in the war on terror, saying Pakistans role was very essential to defeat and eliminate terrorist elements. She said that regional approach towards bringing peace and stability in Afghanistan was very important. She informed that Pakistans role and contribution in defeating terrorism and bringing peace and stability in the region was of significant importance. The Norwegian Defence Minister urged that both Pakistan and Norway needed to work together to promote regional peace and defeat terrorism. She also deeply admired Pakistans role as the biggest contributor to UN peacekeeping missions. Later, the Norwegian Minister of Defence along with General Harald Sunde, Chief of Norwegian Armed Forces, also called on Chief of Army Staff, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani Monday at General Headquarters. The visiting dignitaries remained with him for some time and discussed matters of mutual interest.