Pakistan has asked the European Union for help against poverty, extremism and terrorism. At a first EU-Pakistan summit, held in Brussels, visiting President Asif Ali Zardari won a pledge of aid for people fleeing fighting between the Pakistan army and Taliban militants. More than two million people have already fled the Swat valley since fighting broke out in late April.
The European Commission said it would provide 20 million euros and would ask EU states to approve 45 million euros more from a reserve fund. Zardari had sought trade concessions, but did not get them. Some EU states wanted to offer Pakistan significant trade breaks, such as dropping tariffs on Pakistani imports. But others blocked this, over concern for the possible effect on their domestic industries.