German minister bound for Pakistan and Gulf

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter SteinmeierBerlin - German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier is to fly to Pakistan on Monday at the start of a four-day diplomatic tour also taking in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, aides said Friday in Berlin.

The onslaught of terrorist attacks and the growing financial crisis in Pakistan will be topics when he meets with Pakistan's new president, Asif Ali Zardari, and senior ministers in Islamabad.

Analysts say Pakistan could go bankrupt if talks it has begun with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) fail to lead to a bail-out.

Islamabad has appealed to both neighbours and western nations to come to its aid.

The Friends of Pakistan Group set up at the end of last month in New York at the time of a UN General Assembly meeting includes European Union nations, the United States and China.

The group aims to fund education and health projects that would prevent further destabilization in multi-ethnic Pakistan, which has a long border with Afghanistan.

A first meeting of its members is set for next month but there have been no funding pledges yet.

In the Saudi capital Riyadh, Steinmeier is set to meet with King Abdullah and consult with the Saudi finance minister and the central bank chief, the aides said.

A stop Wednesday in Abu Dhabi to meet UAE leaders is mainly aimed at opening doors for German companies seeking contracts for huge plants and buildings.

German business executives will be in the delegation.

A meeting with the UAE wealth investment fund ADIA is part of the schedule. (dpa)