Britain stands by Pakistani security

July 17, 2013 at 11:31 AM

ISLAMABAD, July 17 (UPI) -- British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Wednesday he was in Islamabad to express his government's strategic commitments to Pakistani leaders.

British Prime Minister David Cameron in June was the first Western leader to meet with Nawaz Sharif, who secured a third non-consecutive term as prime minister in the first democratic transition of power in Pakistan since the 1940s.

Cameron said during his June visit the prime minister was in a strong position to lead Pakistan away from its long history of violence.

Hague said he was in Pakistan to follow up on Cameron's commitment to build a strong bilateral relationship with the government in Islamabad.

"The visit underlines the U.K.'s continued commitment to a deep, long-term and strategic relationship with Pakistan," he said in a statement.

British forces are preparing to wrap up their combat obligations in neighboring Afghanistan. Pakistani newspaper The Nation reports Wednesday the visiting foreign secretary said a good working relationship with neighboring countries was vital for Pakistani national security.

At least seven people were killed in sectarian violence in Pakistan's Balochistan province this week. The British government said it was advising against all travel to the area.

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