2009-10-01 17:42:30

Pope Benedict XVI Meets Pakistan President Zardari in Rome

(October 1, 2009) Pope Benedict XVI met the Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari in a Private Audience on Thursday, 1st of October, at his summer residence, Castel Gandolfo, Rome. President Zardari is in Rome on an official and Business visit and is meeting several officials and dignitaries. On Tuesday 29th September he called for enhanced access to the European Union markets, saying it would strengthen Pakistan’s economy. During his meeting with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano at the presidential palace in Rome, President Zardari said Europe should weigh the impact of militancy on a nation while considering giving access to its markets. He said Pakistan looked forward to increased cooperation with Italy in agriculture, edible oil, leather sector and marble designs. On Wednesday, 30th of September, during the meeting with Prime Minister of Italy, Silvio Berlusconi a Memorandum of Understanding regarding military ties and exchange of intelligence was signed. Both countries agreed to increase imports and exports between them. Later he signed an agreement with Minister of Defence regarding the import and export of weapons. Regarding the incidents of religious violence against Christians in Pakistan, Zardari said Pakistan would support all religious minorities and will have freedom of religious practice. Premier Berlusconi asked Zardari to be attentive on the attacks on religious minorities in Pakistan.

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