Germany asks Pakistan to attend Bonn conference

December 1st, 2011 - 5:14 am ICT by IANS  

Yousuf Raza Gilani Islamabad, Dec 1 (IANS) German Chancellor Angela Merkel telephoned Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani Wednesday, requesting the country to change its decision of boycotting the upcoming Bonn conference, Xinhua reported.

Pakistan decided to boycott the conference on Afghanistan’s future to protest against NATO bombing of two Pakistani posts at the weekend in which 24 soldiers were killed.

The boycott decision was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by Gilani in Lahore.

“The German Chancellor expressed her desire that Pakistan’s attendance in the Bonn conference was of utmost importance to Germany and stressed upon that Pakistan’s representation was essential for making the conference meaningful,” said the Pakistan prime minister’s office in a statement.

“The prime minister stated that Pakistan holds Germany in the highest esteem and attaches highest importance to peace, stability and sovereignty of Afghanistan, the statement said.

“However, the prime minister said that in the current scenario, in which the Afghanistan’s soil has been used against Pakistan, both the cabinet and the government had decided that Pakistan’s attendance in the Bonn conference was no longer possible,” it further stated.

Replying to Merkel’s request, Gilani said that since Germany and Pakistan shared excellent relations in the past and also the German foreign minister was the first to express solidarity with Pakistan and also condolences to the families who were killed in the NATO/ISAF attack, he would refer the matter to the parliamentary committee on national security to take the decision.

The conference is to be held in Germany’s Bonn city Monday (Dec 5) to discuss Afghanistan’s future.

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