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U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue

John D. Negroponte, Deputy Secretary of State
Joint Press Conference
Islamabad, Pakistan
September 12, 2007

DEPUTY SECRETARY NEGROPONTE: I am extremely pleased to be here in Pakistan again. Your country is both a close friend and a long-standing reliable ally of the United States. Today’s second round of the U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue has been very useful. The continuing discussion between our two countries highlights the commitment both our nations have made to a wide-ranging, substantive, and long-term bilateral relationship.

Our relationship with Pakistan and the Pakistani people is very important. Pakistan has long been a strong U.S. ally, but now more than ever, Pakistan stands as an important and pivotal nation in the world. Pakistan is a large, moderate Muslim nation with a diverse population in a very critical region. It serves as the gateway, the crossroads, to both Central and South Asia. Pakistan’s continued progress and development are vital not only for its own people, but also for the stability of the region, the United States, and the rest of the world.

We welcome Pakistan’s leadership as a voice of moderation and reason in the Islamic world. Your nation remains a valuable ally in the war on terror. The United States recognizes the tremendous sacrifices the people of Pakistan have made in this struggle. We stand with all of those Pakistanis who have been wounded or who have lost loved ones, and we hold a special place of honor for those who sacrificed their lives in protecting not only Pakistanis but also the entire world from acts of terrorism. Facing these challenges strengthens our mutual resolve against terrorism and extremism. Pakistan’s efforts against extremism are a matter of record. We welcome and look forward to working with Pakistan in the new three-pronged strategy in the Tribal areas. Promoting security, dialogue, and development is a truly visionary approach. This holistic solution is a comprehensive and positive path towards resolving the issues in the Tribal Areas. The United States recognizes this. We have pledged $750 million to support Pakistan’s plan.

The United States continues to stand in partnership with Pakistanis as they build on their nation’s many strengths. Our relationship with the Pakistani people goes far beyond security and counterterrorism. Our long-term programs, such as USAID’s 5-year $100 million Education Assistance Program, seek to ensure Pakistan’s own efforts to build a democratically and economically vibrant country. Pakistanis are working to improve their nation in many other areas, including health, energy, technology, and democracy.
Our continued Strategic Dialogue and our long-term assistance programs in Pakistan exemplify the forward-looking, broad and deep nature of our bilateral relationship.

The United States appreciates and fully understands Pakistan’s commitment to peace and stability in Afghanistan. Results from the recent peace jirga were very promising. We appreciate your nation’s constructive role.

We realize there are many challenges ahead: be it fighting terrorism, expanding literacy, or spreading economic prosperity. We came here today to face those challenges head-on in our continued Strategic Dialogue. The only way to achieve long-lasting peace, stability, and development is by thinking strategically and by exchanging ideas through frank and regular discussions. By doing this, the United States and Pakistan actively reaffirm our broad-based bilateral relationship. We will continue to meet regularly. We will seek further opportunities to enhance this dialogue.

At this critical juncture in history, Pakistan has the opportunity to forge ahead as a vibrant, moderate, successful, and democratic Muslim nation. We stand ready to assist you whenever you may call upon us.

Released on September 12, 2007

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