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 You are in: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice > Former Secretaries of State > Former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell > Speeches and Remarks > 2001 > June

Remarks With Pakistani Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar

Secretary Colin L. Powell
Press availability following meeting
Washington, DC
June 19, 2001

SECRETARY POWELL: Well, good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. It's been my great pleasure to host the Foreign Minister of Pakistan, who accepted my invitation to visit, and we had a very, very good and fruitful discussion of all the issues on our mutual agendas.

I was very encouraged by the report that the Foreign Minister gave me with respect to the preparations that are being made for the election next year. I was very pleased that we had a chance to discuss the meeting that is coming up in the very near future between the leaders of India and Pakistan.

We talked about US sanctions policies. We talked about the situation in Afghanistan and the Taliban. We discussed the situation with respect to China and its role in that part of the world. There was no issue we could not discuss in a spirit of openness and candor, reflecting the great respect that we have for Pakistan, and the friendship that has always existed for many, many years between the people of Pakistan and the people of the United States.

So Mr. Minister, it was my pleasure to have you here, and I invite you to say a word, sir.

FOREIGN MINISTER SATTAR: I want to thank Secretary of State Colin Powell for the invitation, and my visit here has provided an opportunity first of all to apprise him of the progress that we have made in the last 20 months. Our economy is improving. We are tackling the problem of corruption.

We talked also about nuclear issues, and I have informed the Secretary of State that Pakistan will maintain the moratorium on further tests, that Pakistan will not be the first country to resume testing in the future, as we were not the first country to conduct tests in the past. General Musharraf, I have explained to the Secretary, is building and strengthening foundations for reconstruction of democracy in our country.

We talked also of bilateral relations and, of course, even before I came here, I was encouraged by a sentence in the Secretary's letter inviting me here to the effect that he attaches value to 50 years of friendship with Pakistan.

And it is on that foundation that we seek to build relations in the future.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, did you discuss Kashmir? Did you talk about the Kashmir issue?

FOREIGN MINISTER SATTAR: I have talked about this issue, and expressed the hope that in the meeting that is to take place next month between General Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Atal Vajpayee, the two leaders will address this issue in a constructive manner and identify salutary directions that lead to a settlement acceptable to the people of the State of Jammu in Kashmir.

QUESTION: What about your comments on that, sir?

SECRETARY POWELL: I would parallel what the Minister just said. We did discuss it in the vein that he just described.

QUESTION: Did you talk about sanctions, but are you going to lift sanctions?

SECRETARY POWELL: We talked about sanctions, and we talked about how one gets through the process of eventually lifting sanctions. And we will be dealing with all of these issues as we move forward in a spirit of dialogue and cooperation.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, (inaudible) from India, General Musharraf, because he is the one behind (inaudible), and now he is going to India to (inaudible) the same issue as Prime Minister Vajpayee (inaudible). Is this still the same (inaudible) Prime Minister (inaudible)?

SECRETARY POWELL: I think anytime the leaders of two great countries such as India and Pakistan get together to discuss issues that are of enormous complication, it has got to be a good thing. And so I hope that these conversations will produce results that would benefit both nations, and will lead to relief.

FOREIGN MINISTER SATTAR: This is a moment of hope in relations between Pakistan and India, and as you go - General Pervez Musharraf has exercised utmost restraint to ensure that the atmosphere is not in any way adversely affected by statements with regard to our positions on the Kashmir question.

I have said we hope that the two leaders will be forward-looking -- I am sure that our leader will be -- and try to identify a direction in which, that will lead us to a solution acceptable to the Kashmiri people.

Released on June 19, 2001

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