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Remarks at Stakeout Before Meeting With British Foreign Secretary David Miliband

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
United Nations Headquarters
New York City
September 25, 2008

SECRETARY RICE: I have a bilateral meeting, but I’ll take two questions.

QUESTION: Thank you. So do you have the opinion that now the fight against al-Qaida will improve in the border regions?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, I had a very strong sense that President Zardari is committed to the fight against the militants. He, of course, lost his wife and Pakistan lost a great leader in Benazir Bhutto. We talked about how we might assist Pakistan in doing what it needs to do. But I think there’s a very strong commitment. And after all, it’s the same enemy.

QUESTION: Did you speak at all about the incident with the helicopters today? It happened and apparently, that was followed by some actual exchange of gunfire.

SECRETARY RICE: We did not. I am not able to go into the details of the incident. In fact, I don’t know the full details myself. I’ve been tied up here all day.

But I think that there’s a very strong view that this is a problem that has got to be dealt with. And we’re going to work very closely with this democratically elected Government of Pakistan. It’s something that we have advocated and worked for, which was to see democratic elections in Pakistan. And so we talked as much about the need to help Pakistan with its social progress and with its economy, and so that was the nature of the conversation.

All right? Thank you.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) from the Friends of Pakistan meeting tomorrow?

SECRETARY RICE: The Friends of Pakistan is being formed, really, to demonstrate the breadth of the international support for Pakistan. These are all countries that have longstanding relationships with Pakistan, that have very deep relationships with Pakistan, and so it really is an effort to show the commitment of the international community.

Thank you.

2008/790


Released on September 25, 2008

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