LONDON, Sept 14 (Reuters) - Britain and Denmark urged theEuropean Union on Tuesday to grant trade concessions to Pakistanto help it overcome devastating floods.
"We have both been advocating ... that the EU can do more togive market access for goods from Pakistan to European markets,"British Foreign Secretary William Hague said after talks with hisDanish counterpart Lene Espersen, adding that both countrieswould be pushing the case at an EU summit in Brussels this week.
"We see completely eye to eye on this ... We need Pakistanto help develop a more stabilised economy in the long run, andthis goes through more trade," Espersen told reporters.
The EU has been divided on the issue but, spurred intoaction by the floods, now appears likely to grant concessions,which will above all boost market access for Pakistani textiles.
Britain and Germany, which both have thousands of troopsfighting Islamist insurgents in neighbouring Afghanistan, backconcessions, but southern European states with textileindustries that compete with Pakistan's have blocked them.
EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels last Friday askedEU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht to draw up a plan forapproval by leaders at Thursday's summit that would seek a WorldTrade Organisation waiver worth at least 230 million euros ($292million) for Pakistan, EU diplomats said.
Pakistan would also benefit from a review under way of theEU's Generalised System of Preferences-Plus (GSP+) -- a tradesupport mechanism -- due to be completed in January, they said.
Hague said he did not believe trade concessions should bemade conditional on Pakistan doing more to tackle Islamistmilitants. (Reporting by Adrian Croft; Editing by Kevin Liffey)