For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 28, 2008
Joint Statement on United States-Pakistan Strategic Partnership
President George W. Bush welcomed Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani to Washington today for his first visit to the United States as the leader of Pakistan's democratically-elected civilian government. The President and Prime Minister reaffirmed their commitment to the long-term Strategic Partnership between the United States and Pakistan, which is based on shared values and holds immense potential for the enduring peace, security, stability, freedom, and prosperity of Pakistan and of the region. The President affirmed his support for Pakistan's sovereignty, independence, unity, and territorial integrity. The two leaders agreed that the focus of the broad-based Pakistan-U.S. relationship should remain on ensuring the well being of the people by assisting Pakistan to implement its national development agenda in a comprehensive manner. Pakistan and the United States. will work together to eliminate the threat of extremism, build strong democratic institutions, modernize education, and increase economic growth and opportunity.
President Bush and Prime Minister Gillani reaffirmed their condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. They acknowledged that terrorism and violent extremism pose a common threat to Pakistan, the United States, and the international community. The two leaders pledged to work together to address this threat and to deny any space to militants or terrorists through increased cooperation. The President recognized the sacrifices the people of Pakistan and the Pakistani security forces have made in the ongoing fight. The President and Prime Minister reiterated that success in countering terrorism will require a comprehensive strategy, including increased security, improved governance, and opportunity for socio-economic development for the people especially in the less-developed regions of Pakistan. The President and the Prime Minister expressed deep sympathy for the families of those who have fallen victim to suicide and other terrorist attacks in Pakistan. The Prime Minister expressed appreciation for U.S. efforts to promote peace and stability in the region. The United States is dedicated to providing Pakistan with the support and tools it needs to lead the fight against terrorism.
The two leaders also committed to increased bilateral economic cooperation to include expanded trade, an improved investment climate, promoting cooperation in the public and private sectors, and agreed to work together to ensure food and energy security as well as facilitate investment in infrastructure and social sectors in Pakistan.
In reaffirming the Strategic Partnership, President Bush and Prime Minister Gillani attached importance to the next round of the Strategic Dialogue, which will be co-chaired by the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State and Pakistan's Foreign Minister, in September 2008 and regularly thereafter to review issues of mutual interest. In addition, the two leaders committed both countries to undertake the following steps in development, counterterrorism, economic, and regional cooperation:
Focus on the needs of the Pakistani people: Food, Health, Education, Energy, and Democratic Governance
* The two leaders welcomed recent efforts in the U.S. Congress to extend the United States' assistance commitment to Pakistan to help address Pakistan's most urgent needs, including education, agriculture, and energy. The President will continue to work with Congress to ensure the continued support of the United States to Pakistan over the long term.
* The two leaders agreed to institute a separate track for agricultural cooperation under the Strategic Dialogue.
* The United States will provide $115.5 million in food security assistance to Pakistan, including $42.5 million over the next nine months.
* The United States will assist with disease control activities in Pakistan to augment the Prime Minister's initiative to combat the spread of hepatitis and other infectious diseases.
* The United States highlighted its $30 million Pakistan Energy Development program focused on improving power availability, affordability, and efficiency.
* The United States and Pakistan will hold the next round of the U.S.-Pakistan Energy Dialogue this fall to help Pakistan meet its vast and growing energy needs.
* The two leaders agreed to hold the next round of the U.S.-Pakistan Education Dialogue later this year.
* The two leaders agreed to continue and enhance robust collaboration in science and technology under the successful bilateral Science and Technology Framework Agreement.
* The United States highlighted its support for democracy-building and improved governance through project funding.
Expand Bilateral Trade and Improve the Business Climate
* The two leaders renewed a joint commitment to pursue steps to establish Reconstruction Opportunity Zones that will expand trade opportunities in parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
* The United States and Pakistan will work together toward a goal of establishing direct non-stop flights between the two countries before the end of 2008, expanding people-to-people ties and improving the investment climate to the benefit of the people of both countries.
* The United States and Pakistan agree to convene officials promptly to review the status of bilateral investment treaty negotiations.
* The two countries will reconvene the Joint Council under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement in September 2008.
* The U.S.-Pakistan Economic Dialogue will be held on August 11 in Islamabad.
Expand Security and Counterterrorism Cooperation
* The two leaders agreed to strengthen the long-term security relationship with a view to enhancing Pakistan's defense capabilities, especially in the field of counterterrorism, through training and equipment.
* Reconvene the bilateral Defense Consultative Group this fall with a renewed focus on counterinsurgency and counterterrorism.
* Renew cooperative efforts to root out extremism along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, including the Northwest Frontier Province, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, and Balochistan.
* Expand cooperation between the United States. and the Pakistani Frontier Corps and other Pakistani security forces on the front lines in the fight against violent extremism.
* Focus U.S. security assistance on efforts to enhance the counterterrorism capability of Pakistan's military forces.
Work Together to Enhance Regional Peace, Security, and Stability
* Strengthen the Tripartite Commission between the International Security Assistance Force, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.
* Support the efforts of Pakistan and Afghanistan to hold the next joint jirga this fall.
* Hold the next Regional Economic Cooperation Conference in Islamabad this fall.
* Encourage the Pakistan-India Composite Dialogue process to reduce tensions, build trust, and resolve all outstanding issues.
Prime Minister Gillani thanked President Bush and the people of the United States for the hospitality accorded to him, Mrs. Gillani, and the members of the Prime Ministerial delegation during their stay in the United States.
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