U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue at the Ministerial Level March 24-25, 2010

Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
March 25, 2010

Following is the text of a joint statement by the United States and Pakistan on the U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue.

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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, accompanied by high level delegations, met in Washington on 24-25 March 2010 for the U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue.

In conformity with the importance that both the United States and Pakistan attach to taking further steps to broaden and deepen their comprehensive cooperation and to further fortify the friendship between the two peoples, the Strategic Dialogue was elevated to the Ministerial level.

A Policy Steering Group was established to intensify and expand the sectoral dialogue process in the fields of: economy and trade; energy; defense; security, strategic stability and non-proliferation; law enforcement and counter-terrorism; science and technology; education; agriculture; water; health; and communications and public diplomacy. Sectoral meetings will be held in Islamabad soon.

Both sides exchanged views on the status of bilateral cooperation and decided to continually provide strategic guidance for strengthening U.S.-Pakistan partnership in the 21st Century for realizing the aspirations of their people.

They reiterated that the core foundations of this partnership are shared democratic values, mutual trust and mutual respect. A stable, enduring and broad-based cooperative partnership is in the fundamental interest of both countries. Both the United States and Pakistan are determined to foster goodwill and friendship between their people and engage in mutually beneficial cooperation.

Secretary Clinton paid tribute to the courage and resolve of the people of Pakistan to eliminate terrorism and militancy. Both sides acknowledged the common threat that terrorism and extremism posed to global, regional and local security. Pakistan expressed its appreciation for U.S. security assistance. Both governments committed to redouble their efforts to deal effectively with terrorism and to protect the common ideals and shared values of democracy, tolerance, openness and respect for fundamental freedoms and human rights.

Both sides exchanged views on measures to enhance Pakistan’s inherent capacities to realize the vision of a democratic, progressive state, committed to socio-economic advancement and to effectively address political, economic, development and security challenges.

The United States re-affirmed its resolve to assist Pakistan to overcome socio-economic challenges by providing technical and economic assistance and to enable Pakistan to build its strengths by optimal utilization of its considerable human and natural resources and entrepreneurial skills.

The United States committed to work towards enhanced market access for Pakistani products as well as towards the early finalization of Reconstruction Opportunity Zones legislation. The two governments decided to discuss issues related to the Bilateral Investment Treaty in order to stimulate investment in Pakistan.

The United States and Pakistan discussed creating an investment fund to support increased foreign direct investment and development in Pakistan. Such a fund could provide much needed additional support for Pakistan’s energy sector and other high priority areas.

The United States recognized the importance of assisting Pakistan to overcome its energy deficit and committed to further intensify and expand comprehensive cooperation in the energy sector, including through the Signature Energy Program.

Recognizing the crucial importance of water for human survival and development, both sides decided to add a separate sectoral track in the Strategic Dialogue to focus on water conservation, watershed management and U.S. assistance in water projects.

Pakistan expressed its appreciation for U.S. assistance for socio-economic development that would contribute towards improving the lives of the people of Pakistan.

The two sides comprehensively shared perspectives on regional and global issues. Both reaffirmed the importance of advancing peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi reaffirmed their commitment to a wide-ranging, long-term and substantive strategic partnership between the United States and Pakistan.

To carry forward this process, the next meeting of the Strategic Dialogue will be held in Islamabad co-chaired by Secretary Clinton and Foreign Minister Qureshi.

PRN: 2010/359