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Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
September 29, 2008


United States-Pakistan Strategic Partnership Joint Statement

Following is the text of a joint statement issued by U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John D. Negroponte and Pakistan Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi following the third round of the United States-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue, held September 29, 2008, at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. The United States-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue was last held in Islamabad, Pakistan, in September 2007.

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Deputy Secretary Negroponte and Foreign Minister Qureshi reaffirmed their commitments to a wide-ranging, substantive, and long-term strategic partnership between the United States and Pakistan, which is based on shared values and a common effort to promote enduring peace, security, stability, freedom, and prosperity of Pakistan and of the region.  Both sides exchanged views on ways to deepen their bilateral cooperation and to make the Strategic Dialogue more effective and productive.  

The United States and Pakistan both strongly condemned the terrorist attack at the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, on 20 September. Both Deputy Secretary Negroponte and Foreign Minister Qureshi offered their condolences to the families of all of those lost in the vicious attack. They acknowledged that terrorism and violent extremism pose a common threat to Pakistan, the United States, and the international community. 

The United States affirmed its support for Pakistan's sovereignty, independence, unity, and territorial integrity. The United States is dedicated to providing Pakistan with the training and equipment it needs to fight terrorism, including support to enhance Pakistan’s counterinsurgency and counterterrorism capabilities and increased cooperation with Pakistani security forces. Both sides renewed their intention to work together to combat the threat of terrorism and violent extremism by expanding security cooperation, and to work together to develop and modernize the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Pakistan expressed its appreciation for the $4 million the U.S. has committed for flood relief and for humanitarian assistance to those displaced by fighting in Bajaur. 

During the Strategic Dialogue, the two sides discussed regional and international issues of common interest. The U.S. expressed support for continued dialogue and improved relations between Pakistan and its neighbors. The U.S. expressed support for the resumption of the Jirga process with Afghanistan and for Pakistan’s commitment to hold the next Regional Economic Cooperation Conference meeting in Islamabad later this year.

The Pakistani Government expressed its appreciation for the new Friends of Pakistan initiative, which will help Pakistan face its challenges in the years ahead. 

Building on the August 2008 bilateral Economic Dialogue, both sides reaffirmed their commitment to increased bilateral economic cooperation. Pakistan outlined its economic stabilization measures and reforms to foster economic growth and opportunity. The U.S. expressed support for Pakistan's plan to stabilize its economy and welcomed Pakistan's commitment to implement comprehensive reform measures. 

The U.S. expressed its determination to continue efforts to promote Reconstruction Opportunity Zones legislation, currently pending in Congress. The establishment of such zones would improve stability and security by stimulating jobs, infrastructure and legitimate economic alternatives in underdeveloped areas.

The two sides emphasized the need for improved regional cooperation and integration in the energy sector. They reaffirmed their commitment to address Pakistan’s growing energy needs by expanding technical assistance and promoting investment in Pakistan’s energy sector. 

Cooperation in education and science and technology were reviewed, and both resolved to make best efforts to hold Energy and Education Dialogues by the end of the year. 

In keeping with the commitment made by President Bush and Prime Minister Gillani during their July meeting in Washington, the delegations began discussions focused on agricultural cooperation that would help Pakistan strengthen its agricultural sector and enhance its food security. 

The two sides committed to work together to realize their long-term vision of the U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Partnership. 

2008/813

Released on September 29, 2008

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