U.S.-Pakistan-Afghanistan Trilateral Meetings To Be Held on a Regular Basis

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Trilateral Meeting with Afghan Foreign Minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta and Pakistan Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi
Washington, DC
February 26, 2009

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I want to speak on behalf of the United States Government in thanking the delegations led by the foreign ministers for coming to Washington for these three valuable and unprecedented days of trilateral United States-Pakistan-Afghanistan talks. These have been in-depth, very specific, open, forthright, and I believe extremely useful.

Our basic purpose was to exchange views on the strategic issues now being reviewed in our policy review by the Obama Administration. That goal has been amply fulfilled.

Now, these meetings would have been valuable even if they had simply been bilateral. If we had met with our Pakistani friends, if we had met with our friends from Afghanistan, that would have been important. But what makes these last three days especially meaningful is that they were trilateral. We have all been working together. There have been numerous meetings, including the full delegations, a dinner last night, and of course, this meeting today.

I therefore am very pleased to announce that we will continue this new trilateral format on a regular basis. Our next meeting is tentatively scheduled for late April or early May.

I thank my friends and colleagues. Both ministers have been extraordinary, eloquent, making very important statements. The representatives from both the civilian and military sectors of both governments have been not only forthcoming, but very receptive, listening one to the other. And I thank you for these talented delegations and for your participation and support.

Our three nations have a common goal, a common threat, and a common task. And my government commits itself to our friends and to the success of this common endeavor.

Thank you all very much.

PRN: 2009/169