France pledges to 'energise' Pakistan
12 December, 2012
PARIS: French President Hollande on Tuesday said France would extend its full help and cooperation to Pakistan to help meet its energy requirements.
Addressing a joint press conference following their talks at Elysee Palace, French President Francoise Hollande and President Asif Ali Zardari said that they had discussed regional situation and increasing cooperation between the two countries.
President Asif Ali Zardari said he held very useful and constructive discussion with his French counterpart President Francoise Hollande and discussed bilateral issues and cooperation in many fields. The two countries agreed to further increase cooperation in different fields, including education, health, economy and energy sectors.
President Zardari said Pakistan and France are good partners, and expressed the hope that cooperation and coordination would continue in the future. The president said Pakistan has been making efforts for providing equal opportunities of education to both boys and girls as the country wants the young generation to be given a chance to study, live a normal life like other children of the world. Referring to the case of Malala Yousufzai, he said every child has the right to education.
The president said, "We are committed to democracy and working against the threat of mindset of terrorism." The French president said his discussion with President Zardari was very good and encouraging. He said they discussed all the issues and cooperation in the field of education, health, defence and economy. He said France has continued its cooperation in different fields, including health and education.
Replying to a question on cooperation in energy sector, President Hollande said France would extend its full help and cooperation to Pakistan to meet its energy requirements. He said they also discussed the future of Afghanistan and discussed the necessity to tackle terrorism and drug trafficking which were the main issues of the world and required international cooperation. He said the role of Pakistan in stability and security in the region was also discussed during the meeting in order to help ease tension in the region.
For this purpose, he said, France has been holding talks with the international community. The French president said both the leaders also discussed nuclear issue and exchanged views on this important subject.
Hollande hailed Malala, saying the 15-year-old was the "symbol of a young girl who fought for access to knowledge and education", adding: "We all share Malala's spirit." Malala is recovering in a British hospital after being brutally attacked on her school bus on October 9.
Zardari, whose government on Monday donated $10 million for a global war chest aimed at educating all girls by 2015, told Hollande that "every child, every Malala, has a right to education." He had also slammed fundamentalists for giving the religion a bad name.