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Discussing U.S.-Pakistan Relations

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Remarks by Secretary Rice and Pakistani Minister of Foreign Affairs Khurshid Mahmood
Washington, DC
July 10, 2006


SECRETARY RICE: Good morning. I'm very pleased to welcome Foreign Minister Kasuri from Pakistan. We will have an extensive discussion of our broad and deep strategic relationship with Pakistan. I was, as you know, just in Pakistan. But this is an opportunity to have a more expanded discussion of the many issues in U.S.-Pakistani relations. After we've had a chance to talk here, we will go upstairs for lunch and meet some members of our delegation. So welcome. It's great to have you here.

FOREIGN MINISTER KASURI: Thank you. It's a great pleasure to be here and I entirely agree with the Secretary. We do have a very broad and deep relationship and President Bush's recent visit to Pakistan further broadened it. And in fact now we have an architecture for cooperation and I'm looking forward to discussing with Secretary Rice some of the details in that -- detailed plan of action that will bring our countries further closer. Thank you.

QUESTION: Madame Secretary, there has apparently been an agreement between China and Japan that there will be a postponement in the vote on the Japanese-sponsored resolution about North Korea in the UN Security Council. Does this reflect a difficulty in trying to get that unified response that you've been talking about? If not, what should we think it reflects?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, let's remember that we are in a significantly different position than we were several years ago when the problem of North Korea was in very many ways an American problem. This is now clearly an issue for the international community particularly for the five parties that have been a part of the six-party talks. We are proceeding along multiple diplomatic fronts. We, of course, are having discussions in the Security Council about a very important resolution to send a message to North Korea that it is not possible for it to continue in its current behavior, the latest installment of which was the missile launch.

Yes, the Japanese have agreed that it would be wise to allow China some time to have the diplomatic mission that China has launched to North Korea to perhaps take effect to see if the North Koreans can be convinced by the Chinese that it is in time -- that it is indeed time to resume the six-party talks, that it is time to recommit to the September 19th agreement that the six parties signed, and that they should return to the status quo ante and resume their moratorium on missile launches. We've had very extensive and intensive diplomacy over this weekend and we believe, too, that this is the best course because while we are in the Security Council, it is also important that China, in particular, which has considerable influence with North Korea have this opportunity to let their diplomatic mission work. So that is what is going on here.

QUESTION: Are the allies still committed to a resolution vote?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, the allies, the people who have put forward this resolution -- and by the way, there are a number of cosponsors of this resolution -- believe very strongly that North Korea has to have a message from the international community that their current course is destructive and will isolate them. But we do think that the Chinese mission to North Korea has some promise and we would like to let that play out.

QUESTION: Days, not weeks?

SECRETARY RICE: Thank you. Thank you very much.

QUESTION: Madame Secretary, on Iraq, how concerned are you about the latest surge in violence. Does this mean that Maliki's moment of opportunity is slipping away?

SECRETARY RICE: No one could have expected that just within weeks of coming to power that the Iraqi Government would have been able to stop the violence and to completely address a difficult security situation. But this is a very active campaign now with Iraqi security forces, with coalition security forces, fully supported and committed to by a unity government that has the backing of the Iraqi people and there are determined killers there, determined people who really do want to make life difficult and to arrest the democratic progress that Iraq is making. But I'm quite certain that the combination of a strong government and the security forces that are now engaged in the security plan for Baghdad will be able to bring this situation under control. Thank you.

Released on July 10, 2006

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