Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, a Minister of the British Ruling Party meets Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar at the Foreign Office in Islamabad on Monday. – Photo by APP

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar on Monday expressed her appreciation for support of the United Kingdom for Autonomous Trade Preferences (ATPs) package for Pakistan and hoped that UK would continue to support Pakistan's case for inclusion in the GSP Plus scheme.

The foreign minister was talking to Baroness Syeda Warsi, British Senior Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Minister for Faith and Communities and Local Government who called on her on Monday.

The foreign minister congratulated Baroness Warsi on her new appointment as the first Muslim woman minister in the British Cabinet with important portfolios.

Baroness Warsi was Co-Chair of the Conservative Party prior to her new appointment.

The foreign minister acknowledged the valuable contribution made by Baroness Warsi towards enhancing Pakistan-UK bilateral relations by establishing the Conservative Friends of Pakistan Forum in May this year.

The two Ministers expressed satisfaction at the existing level of bilateral relations that are based on mutual respect and mutual interest.

The foreign minister acknowledged the development assistance provided to Pakistan by the UK in various fields especially in the education and health sectors.

The scheme would allow duty-free access to Pakistani exports in the EU market.

The foreign minister informed Baroness Warsi of the steps that the Government had taken to strengthen democracy in Pakistan and empowering provinces through various constitutional amendments.

She also highlighted the legislations passed by the parliament on human rights, protection of rights of women and children and rights of minorities.

Baroness Warsi acknowledged the steps taken by the government of Pakistan towards improving governance, enhancing provincial autonomy and protection of Human Rights.

She expressed satisfaction at the current status of bilateral relations and underscored the important role being played by the UK citizens of Pakistan origin in strengthening these relations.

The two sides also discussed regional situation including the situation in Afghanistan.

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