Greece and Pakistan discuss trade, sidestep abduction claims

Greek Prime Minister Costas Caramanlis called Pakistan "a good friend of our country," and said there was "further room for growth in our bilateral relations, including trade and investment."

Pakistan's Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz noted the 30,000-strong Pakistani community's presence in Greece, the AP reports.

"We are very pleased that the Greek government and people have provided them with a home and an opportunity to improve and extend the relationships between our two countries," he said.

Aziz did not refer to the abduction claims, and neither prime minister took any questions.

A Greek prosecutor filed criminal charges Friday against "unknown persons" over the alleged abduction of 28 Pakistanis for several days in Athens and Ioannina, northwestern Greece.

The migrants said they were questioned over links with Pakistanis in Britain after the July 7 London suicide bombings that killed 56 people, including four attackers.

The governments of Greece, Pakistan and Britain have denied any involvement with the alleged abductions.

In their talks Monday, Caramanlis said the two men discussed the Balkans, Cyprus, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan.

Aziz said Pakistan was committed to a "strong, stable Afghanistan," and said he had discussed his country's "peace process with India," but gave no details.

Economic agreements signed Monday included bilateral tourism development and agricultural assistance for Pakistan's edible oil and olive oil industry.