ISLAMABAD - To attend the 1st Annual Review Meeting of the Enhanced Strategic Dialogue, Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani will be visiting the United Kingdom next month.

According to Foreign Office’s statement the meeting would be held from May 8-13, 2012 in UK, whereas the prime minister will be accompanied by a high-level delegation including senior ministers and parliamentarians.

The two sides had formally launched the dialogue in April 2011 during the visit of Prime Minister David Cameron to Islamabad. The dialogue covers five areas of bilateral cooperation including trade and business, finance and development assistance, education and health, culture, and defence and security.

According to diplomatic sources, discussion on war on terror and the roadmap of withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan till 2014 would also come under discussion.

 Leadership of the two countries would find opportunity to share their views on the regional situation and post withdrawal scenario.

During the visit the two prime ministers will review the progress on the Enhanced Strategic Dialogue and launch a Trade and Investment Roadmap to increase the volume of trade to £2.5 billion by 2015.

The programme of the visit includes interaction with British parliamentarians, members of the cabinet, and meetings with prominent British businessmen, investors and the media. The prime minister will also address a community gathering and lay the foundation stone of the Consular Hall in the high commission.

Pakistan and UK are bound by ties that are rooted in shared history, cultural values and people-to-people contacts. Over one million Britons of Pakistan origin / heritage provide a living bridge between the two countries. They have contributed significantly to the deepening of relations between Pakistan and the UK.

The United Kingdom is Pakistan’s second largest trading partner in Europe and an important source of foreign investment and remittances. The UK has been Pakistan’s consistent supporter in gaining enhanced trade access to the EU, including through GSP+.

The United Kingdom is one of Pakistan’s major development partners. It has provided assistance in a number of areas including education. Prime Minister Cameron had committed UK assistance of £650 million for primary education in Pakistan. This is the largest education assistance by UK in the world. Besides, UK has agreed to facilitate academic links, student exchanges and increase numbers of Pakistani students in its Universities.

The visit of the Prime Minister will further enhance the existing relations between the two countries.

Both the countries cooperate and coordinate on global and regional issues with a view to promoting stability, peace and security. The Enhanced Strategic Dialogue will provide the two leaders an opportunity to identify ways and means to further raise the level of cooperation in the various areas of mutual concern.