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Posts Tagged ‘Shah Mahmood Qureshi’

Yes, we will see Mme. Secretary together with Qureshi tomorrow according to P.J. Crowley

Briefing On Upcoming World Humanitarian Day

Eric P. Schwartz
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
Acting Director for USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance Mark Ward; Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Frank Ruggiero
Washington, DC
August 18, 2010

MR. CROWLEY: Good afternoon and welcome to the Department of State. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tomorrow will deliver remarks at a plenary meeting of the UN General Assembly on the humanitarian situation from the floods in Pakistan. The General Assembly meeting, which we think will take place at roughly 3:00 p.m. tomorrow, will be an opportunity to express solidarity and to further mobilize support of member states and the international community for the situation in Pakistan.

The Secretary will appear with Secretary General Ban and also Foreign Minister Qureshi. And at tomorrow’s meeting, we expect that she will update and announce an increase in the U.S. assistance to Pakistan. But the meeting tomorrow will occur on World Humanitarian Day, where we’re conscious not only of the dramatic situation in Pakistan, but fragile situations throughout the world that require international attention and international assistance.

So we thought today that we would have Assistant Secretary Eric Schwartz start off and kind of reflect on the implications of World Humanitarian Day and in particular how they relate to the challenge and tragedy in Pakistan. Then we’ll go through our periodic update briefing. We have Chief Deputy Special Representative Frank Ruggiero here as well as Mark Ward from AID, just to kind of run through what we’re doing so far.

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Opening Remarks at U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi
Foreign Ministry, Islamabad, , Pakistan
July 19, 2010

FOREIGN MINISTER QURESHI: Secretary Clinton, dear colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, good morning. It is a pleasure to welcome Secretary Clinton to Pakistan once again. We are delighted to have you back in our midst to carry forward the wide-ranging agenda that we have been pursuing together in recent months. I also extend a warm welcome to other distinguished members of the U.S. delegation.
Those of us who traveled to Washington last March for the first round of this upgraded Strategic Dialogue remain overwhelmed by the exceptional warmth and the gracious hospitality accorded to us. We hope we can reciprocate in some small measure while you are in Pakistan. We are joined here by many distinguished colleagues from various ministries and institutions in Pakistan. I thank them for their presence and for their vital contributions to this process.
Madam Secretary, today is an important day in the history of Pakistan-U.S. relations, which entered a new phase with the commencement of the Strategic Dialogue at the level of the Secretary of State and foreign minister. With this enterprise, we committed to work together for building a stable, broad-based, and enduring partnership between Pakistan and the United States on the basis of shared democratic values, mutual trust, and mutual respect.
We concurred that such a partnership is in the best interest of the peoples of Pakistan and the United States. And it’s critical for peace, stability, and prosperity in the region and beyond. We identified a whole range of areas for intensified collaboration with the express intent of further deepening and broadening the multifaceted ties between our two countries. I have no hesitation in stating that this would not have been possible without your strong, personal belief, Madam Secretary, in the importance and vast potential of the Pakistan-U.S. partnership.
The time and energy that you have invested in it has made this day possible. The consistent progress that we have been able to make thus far owes largely to your qualitative engagement with this process. On behalf of the government and people of Pakistan and on my own behalf, I take this opportunity to sincerely commend your vision, your commitment, and your leadership. And I assure you that we, on our part, remain equally committed to making this enterprise a resounding success.
Madam Secretary, we agreed at Washington that our sectoral dialogue process would encompass economy and trade, energy, defense, security, strategic stability and nonproliferation, law enforcement and counterterrorism, science and technology, education, agriculture, water, health and communications, and public diplomacy. It is gratifying that the first of these sectoral track meetings have since taken place.
City officials and experts on both sides have had preliminary discussions on areas of mutual collaboration and ways and means of achieving agreed outcomes. They have worked hard and done a fine job. I’m encouraged by the positive interaction in this sectoral dialogue and a clear sense of direction discernable in each of the identified areas. In our work during the day, we will have the opportunity to review in more detail the ground covered so far and to exchange views on the next steps.
I just wish to emphasize at this point that all these sectors are of fundamental importance to the day-to-day lives of the people of Pakistan. And they are, therefore, watching this dialogue with great expectations. You had rightly underlined in Washington last March that we cannot be satisfied with talking alone. As you stress the importance of translating our partnership into a lasting progress for the millions who live in cities and villages far from the halls of power and whose lives will be shaped by our actions, I could not agree more.
Indeed, the betterment of the lives of the people has been and must remain the primary motivation for all our efforts. Building a people-centered relationship must remain our foremost priority. It is in this spirit that we have been engaging in the sectoral discussion. We hope that Pakistan Government’s endeavors in these crucial sectors will be meaningfully reinforced through this process. We hope that substantive progress will be made on critical matters such as providing enhanced market access, strengthening Pakistan’s counterterrorism capacity, and allowing nondiscriminatory access to energy resources and advanced technology. We hope we will be able to achieve overall results that help expand economic opportunities in Pakistan and show real benefits of this relationship to our people. Nothing is more important than such vindication in the eyes of the people.
Madam Secretary, this is a transformational phase in our bilateral relations. Together, Pakistan and the United States are working to transform this longstanding cooperative relationship into a strong, comprehensive, and sustainable partnership of mutual benefit. The vision of this partnership is shaped by the mutual desire of our leaders, President Zardari and President Obama, for a richer relationship at the government-to-government, business-to-business, and people-to-people levels. This vision is rooted in the shared history of friendship and alliance between Pakistan and the United States over the past 60 years, which has withstood the test of times and has remarkably endured.
This vision is driven by our convergent interests in the present day, including fighting between menace of extremism and terrorism, stabilizing and reconstructing Afghanistan, sustaining dialogue with India, and finding a just solution of the Kashmir dispute linking the economic potential of South and Central Asia, curbing nuclear proliferation, and advancing progress and prosperity in the region and beyond. Essentially, in today’s globalized environment, an interconnectedness building such a partnership between our two nations is essential to building of a safer world and carving a common future of hope and optimism.
Madam Secretary, this is a period of profound transformation in Pakistan as well. We have political transformation underway with deepening democracy, increasingly empowered parliament, an active opposition, an independent judiciary, a free media, and a vibrant civil society. We have economic transformation underway with notable growth rate despite continuing global recession, growing inflow of remittances, tighter fiscal discipline, and expanding agricultural, commercial, and industrial base.
We have societal transformation underway with a rising demographic profile, rapid urbanization, increasing women empowerment, and a growing culture of human rights. We have ideological transformation underway with the emergence of a strong, national consensus against the dark forces propagating falsehoods in the name of our noble faith and perpetrating senseless crimes against our innocent citizens and the security personnel. Obviously, such far-reaching transformation brings in its wakes multiple challenges. But we are determined to deal with these challenges effectively and make sure that this transformation continues to forge ahead and concludes successfully.
We must do so because this transformation is consistent with Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s vision of Pakistan as a democratic, modern, progressive, and Islamic state. Because it is in line with our leader Shaheed Benazir Bhutto’s conception of Pakistani society, because it helps us fortify our efforts in pursuit of our two core national priorities – peace and development. And finally, because it makes Pakistan a natural partner, indeed an indispensible ally of the international community. I cannot stress enough that the world has a vital stake in the success of our efforts.
Madam Secretary, in Washington, while launching this elevated Strategic Dialogue on March the 24th, you had heralded the dawn of a new day in our old and tested relationship. I’m happy to affirm that we are steadily moving forward in this new phase. As we go further, it will be crucial for us to remain sensitive and responsive to each other’s concerns and interests, make sure that our dialogue process is result-oriented, ensure that it makes a tangible contribution to peace and prosperity in the region, and continue to elicit stronger public support in both countries for the expanded partnership. It will be equally essential to build a robust architecture of strategic dialogue that helps advance our mutually shared goals at every level and at every juncture.
We must also develop and follow a roadmap for future with specific goals and agreed timelines. We must be able to showcase the progress made in building a truly strategic partnership which President Obama – when President Obama visits the region later this year. It is with these opening points that we will go into deeper deliberations and work for productive results.
Before I conclude, allow me to once again express how pleased we are to have you, Secretary Clinton, visiting Pakistan and for chairing this session. It is now my great privilege to invite Secretary Clinton to make her opening remarks. Thank you.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Minister Qureshi, for that warm welcome and your strong words of support for the partnership between Pakistan and the United States, and it is a partnership that you have done so much to forge. I am delighted to be here and to be part of this continuing Strategic Dialogue.
I want to begin my congratulating the governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan for successfully concluding negotiations last night on the Afghanistan-Pakistan transit trade agreement. This is the most significant, concrete achievement between these two neighbors in nearly 50 years. I believe it will go a long way towards strengthening regional economic ties, creating jobs in both countries, and promoting sustainable economic development. And I applaud the Government of Pakistan for demonstrating your commitment to bilateral cooperation and building trust and closer ties between your country and your neighbor, Afghanistan.
My colleagues and I are delighted to join Minister Qureshi, other ministers, officials of the foreign ministry and other agencies of the Pakistan Government for this second meeting of the elevated and expanded U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue. We bring with us the best wishes of President Obama and other members of the Administration, members of Congress, and the American people who recognize the importance of this relationship in building a secure, prosperous, and peaceful future for both our nations.
On a personal note, let me say to you and to all the Pakistani people how good it is to be back in Pakistan. This is my sixth visit and I always look forward to coming here not just because of the work that our governments are able to do together, but because of the relationships and friendships I’ve made and the conversations I’ve been privileged to have with so many Pakistani citizens.
I know that the past few weeks have been trying times for the people of Pakistan. The attack on the shrine of Data Darbar, a place that is sacred to many Pakistanis, as well as Muslims and non-Muslims worldwide, and so many attacks that continue to target the innocent – men, women and children – who are praying, who are shopping, who are working, who are living their lives, I convey our deepest condolences to the families who have lost loved ones and all those who are impacted by violence. Acts like these are meant to sow divisions between people. But I have seen how they have brought us together in affirmation of our shared values, our common humanity, and our mutual aspirations.
Of course, there are differences between our countries and our peoples, and we need to address them candidly. But every time I visit Pakistan, I become more convinced that our differences, although important, are small compared with all that connects us and there is so much we can accomplish together as partners joined in common cause. That is the promise and the reality represented by the Strategic Dialogue. This dialogue, as the minister has said, is an achievement in and of itself. Not long ago, meetings like this, at this level with this breadth of participation, were rare. Now, I’m happy to say they are becoming routine.
Since my visit here last October, when Foreign Minister Qureshi and I agreed to restart this dialogue and we both agreed to serve as its chairs, officials from our governments have come together multiple times. We convened in Washington in March to create 13 working groups each focused on a critical issue – promoting trade and economic growth, strengthening energy supplies for the Pakistani people, improving access to healthcare and education and so much else.
In recent months, every working group has met here in Pakistan to engage in high-level, substantive discussions about how to move forward. Together, we have identified roadblocks, devised strategies, and begun to put ideas into action. And the work has gone so well that we moved up the date of this review by several months.
I want to echo my friend, Foreign Minister Qureshi, in praising the efforts of both of our teams. This kind of results-oriented engagement is exactly what he and I hoped this dialogue would produce. But while we can be pleased, we cannot be satisfied. There is still so much work to be done as we unlock the full potential of the dialogue and translate our combined expertise and resources into lasting progress for the betterment of the people of Pakistan.

Let me briefly describe some of the highlights of our work so far and some plans for what comes next. One of our objectives when we launched this dialogue was to deepen our existing partnerships in key areas like security, while starting new partnerships on urgent issues like water. We know that there is a perception held by too many Pakistanis that America’s commitment to them begins and ends with security. But in fact, our partnership with Pakistan goes far beyond security. It is economic, political, educational, cultural, historical, rooted in family ties. That this misperception has persisted for so long tells us we have not done a good enough job of connecting our partnership with concrete improvements in the lives of Pakistanis. And with this dialogue, we are working very hard to change that perception and to deliver results that truly have the concrete effects we are seeking.
Now, of course, security is a critical element of our partnership. Pakistan plays a central role in promoting security throughout the region. The Pakistani people stand on the front lines of a battle with violent extremists who target shrines, mosques, markets, government buildings, killing and injuring hundreds and hundreds of innocent people. The United States condemns this brutality and we stand in strong support of the democratic Government of Pakistan as it works to stop these groups once and for all.
But security is just one piece of this vital partnership. We share with Pakistan a vision of a future in which all people can live safe, healthy, and productive lives; contribute to their communities; and make the most of their own God-given potential. This future demands a comprehensive human security, a security based on the day-to-day essentials like jobs, schools, clinics, food, water, fuel, equal access to justice; strong, accountable public institutions. These are the building blocks of a durable, thriving society, and they are the aspirations not only of the Strategic Dialogue but of the people of Pakistan.
So the United States does not want only a dialogue between the governments, we want a dialogue between peoples. During my visit here last October, I had conversations with students, women, business leaders, tribal elders, and so many others, to learn more about their concerns and their priorities. And I heard over and over again about several pressing needs – jobs, clean water, healthcare, electricity. I also heard the concerns that these conversations would not have an impact on the work we were doing. But in fact, both of our governments, as the minister has said, are committed to following the lead of the people.
I returned to our Pakistani partners and my colleagues in Washington and said this is what the Pakistani people want us to work on, and we built this Strategic Dialogue with these needs in mind.
Today, I am pleased to announce several new programs the United States will undertake as a direct result of this dialogue in partnership with the government and people of Pakistan. Last October, I described the first phase of a signature energy program to help increase energy production and reduce the blackouts that have plagued Pakistani cities and communities for months.
The United States wants to support that progress with the second phase of our signature energy program. We have maps up here which show what we are doing. I’ll mention a few of the projects. We will complete two hydroelectric dam projects, the Satpara dam in Skardu which will supply electricity to more than 280,000 people, and the Gomal Zam dam in South Waziristan which will provide electricity to 25,000 homes. We have seven projects. You can see on the map where they’re located in terms of the energy. We’re also helping Pakistan develop alternative energy sources like wind and solar power, as well as its natural gas reserves.
We are creating a signature water program in Pakistan. First, we will be building or rebuilding the municipal water systems for Peshawar and Jacobabad, everything from water distribution to storage to treatment. Second, in 139 municipalities in Southern Punjab with a combined population of more than 50 million people, we will be working with local governments to ensure that people have safe drinking water and improved sanitation. Third, we will build water storage systems for the Satpara dam to supply 3 million gallons of clean drinking water per day and for the Gomal Zam dam which will irrigate 190,000 acres, reaching 30,000 farming families. And fourth, in each of Pakistan’s four provinces, we will provide the drip irrigation technology and training that we’ve heard over and over again farmers are asking for.
Another critical need is healthcare, and I’m pleased to announce we will either renovate or build three medical facilities. In Lahore we will triple the size of Pakistan’s largest maternity hospital. In Karachi we will build a surgical ward for mothers injured in childbirth. And in Jacobabad, we will renovate the hospital that serves 1 million people in Northern Sindh and Balochistan.
We want to work with Pakistan to promote economic growth and the creation of jobs. Pakistan, as the minister has said, has made progress and we really salute the country and particularly the tough decisions made by this government to move out of economic crisis and into economic stability. You’ve enacted some important reforms to attract foreign investment and encourage new businesses. Now you face some hard choices, such as meaningful tax reforms that are needed to put Pakistan on the path to long-term economic prosperity. The United States will offer support while you make these tough reforms.
And we want to help improve economic opportunities especially for the large numbers of young people who are coming of age now and are looking for their chance to make their own mark on the world. To that end, we will invest $100 million to expand access to credit for small and medium size enterprises so more good ideas have the chance to become successful businesses. And through the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, we will provide $50 million to support private equity investments in innovation and technology projects in Pakistan.
One sector primed to grow is farming, and so to support agricultural productivity in Pakistan, we will help develop a rural dairy program and the infrastructure to export Pakistan’s mangos, which I can say from personal experience are going to be very welcome on the shelves of American stores.
These are just a few of the programs the United States is committed to undertake on behalf of the people of Pakistan. As you can see from the maps behind me, we have programs across the country and across sectors. All of these programs were made possible by the Kerry-Lugar-Berman Act, which tripled our non-military aid to Pakistan to $7.5 billion over five years. We hope that projects like these will translate into real-life improvements for families and communities. These are not one-time expenditures. They are long-term investments in Pakistan’s future. We are committed to continuing our work with the Government of Pakistan to find ways to deliver services and opportunities that the people need to have.
When this dialogue convened in Washington in March, I said that it represented a new day in relations between our countries. But of course, this is not the work of any one day, but of every day. And so we must continue to hold these discussions and to move beyond them. We have to approach our work with patience and persistence to solve problems, meet challenges, and fulfill the promises made to our people.
In 1948, on the one-year anniversary of Pakistan’s creation, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the man who worked so hard to make Pakistan a reality, spoke to your new nation. It was just a month before his death. Here’s what he said: “Nature has given you everything. You have got unlimited resources. The foundations of your state have been laid and it is now for you to build and build quickly and as well as you can.”
Today, this collaboration between Pakistan and the United States is blessed with resources, most particularly the talent and ingenuity of our people. And together, we are laying the foundation for an enduring partnership. It is now for us to follow the Quaid e Azam’s urgent advice and build as quickly and as well as we can a future of security, prosperity, and peace for both of our countries.
Thank you, Minister Qureshi.

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Remarks with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi Following the U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Foreign Ministry
Islamabad, Pakistan
July 19, 2010

FOREIGN MINISTER QURESHI: Thank you for coming to this press stakeout. I have had the pleasure of welcoming Secretary Clinton to Pakistan once again, and I wanted to share with you a very productive meeting that we’ve had this morning on reviewing the upgraded Strategic Dialogue that was initiated on the 24th of March in Washington. We had set for ourselves a huge agenda because we had expanded the dialogue to 13 sectors – unprecedented. And the level of engagement that we had foreseen was very detailed. But as the Secretary has learned, that we were successful in engaging in Islamabad in the month of May and June, and all the sectors had detailed discussions here in Islamabad – the U.S. side, the Pakistan side – at the expert technical level.

From the discussions that they had, the Government of Pakistan has prepared a complete document that we’re calling the basic document of this Strategic Dialogue. Now, this document lays down a vision for every sector, a strategy that we have for that sector, what we have achieved so far, what contribution the U.S. can make to that sector through the Kerry-Lugar-Berman, what resources Pakistan is contributing in the promotion of that sector, and what needs to be done, what more needs to be done beyond Kerry-Lugar-Berman. It’s a document, a vision for a long-term engagement. And the beauty of this upgraded Strategic Dialogue is that it talks of health and education, water. It talks about increasing Pakistan’s productivity. It talks about creating jobs. It talks about the people of Pakistan and the people of United States, how they can develop a partnership amongst themselves. It has a long-term vision and this engagement has brought about or sort of given the right place to the bilateral relationship, which is an old one, because we felt that because of the situation in Afghanistan, there was too much focus on the trilateral engagements we were having, and the bilateral side of our relationship was being subsumed. But I think with this upgraded dialogue that has been addressed very successfully.

And the message is that United States and Pakistan are friends and partners regardless of other interests that we have. We have an independent bilateral relationship. And through this dialogue, we are going to promote and strengthen that relationship.

We’ve also agreed today – and the Secretary will give you details of what she proposes to do. But it’s no longer talk. It is implementation phase. It is action oriented. And these maps that are in front of you are some reflection of what we intend to do in different areas, how we have shifted the focus from terrorism, security-related issues, to the productive sectors of Pakistan – energy, water, agriculture. So we have agreed to the next round of our dialogue. That will take place in Washington in October and give everybody an opportunity to give an overview of their sector. And I think it was a very, very useful engagement.

And thank you for your time for that, Madam Secretary.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Minister Qureshi, for your leadership of this important partnership and especially of the Strategic Dialogue. I’m delighted to be back in Pakistan. Last night, I had the opportunity to meet with Prime Minister Gillani and President Zardari. We discussed a number of the challenges and opportunities facing our two nations and the steps that we are taking together to address them.

This morning, I joined Foreign Minister Qureshi for the second meeting of the elevated and expanded U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue. And I want to thank the foreign minister and his colleagues in the Government of Pakistan not only for hosting today’s session, but all of the hard work that has been done between our first meeting in March in Washington and this session and the results that we are reaching together.

Since we convened in Washington in March, our countries have made excellent progress. Every one of our 13 working groups have held high-level meetings here in Islamabad in the past three months. This morning, we heard detailed updates of the progress that these groups are making across a range of the critical issues that we have identified after extensive consultations.

As Foreign Minister Qureshi and I expressed to our colleagues, it is critical that we maintain this momentum. We must continue to engage in our substantive discussions and then we have to move beyond those discussions to make concrete, measurable progress toward our mutual goals of improving the lives of the people of Pakistan. To that end, I was pleased to announce a series of significant programs that the United States will be undertaking in several key areas, including water, energy, health, agriculture, and economic growth and employment.

All of these programs were made possible by the Kerry-Lugar-Berman Act, which tripled our non-military aid to Pakistan to $7.5 billion over five years. These projects are evidence of our commitment to broadening and deepening our strategic engagement with Pakistan, not only with the government but most particularly with the people. Our final measure of success will not be in how often we convene our high-level meetings like this one we held today, but how much we contribute to real and lasting progress.

These charts demonstrate the next phase of our work together. The first one talks about the signature energy programs here in Pakistan. I announced this initiative when I was here in October. Since then, we have been working with our Pakistani colleagues to identify the specific areas. Here in the middle are the water programs. I have to confess to you, water was not originally on our list. But after meeting with so many Pakistanis in October, not only government officials but so many others in the different settings I was privileged to be part of, water moved to the top of the list. Water and electricity, over and over again, were mentioned as the needs that the Pakistani people wished to see addressed.

So this last chart here, it lists – and I hope that members of the press will come up and take a look at it – it lists not only our water projects and our electricity projects, but also health projects and education and information. And right there in the middle is the new agreement for the export of mangos. And I have personally vouched for Pakistan mangos which are delicious, and I’m looking forward to seeing Americans be able to enjoy those in the coming months.

So the United States will continue to stand with the government and people of Pakistan. We will stand with you in the fight against the violent extremists and terrorists who target innocent people and some of Pakistan’s most treasured cultural and religious sites. And we shared the anguish and the terrible despair that struck so many Pakistanis in the aftermath of the attack on the Data Darbar shrine. We extend our condolences to the families of all those who have been lost in these attacks that are so vile and so dismissive of the rights of the people of Pakistan to lead their lives and to see their future and the future of their children take shape.

We’re committed to building a partnership with Pakistan that, of course, strengthens security and protects the people of Pakistan, but goes far beyond security. We want to help you drive economic growth and prosperity, strengthen your democratic government institutions, expand access to the tools of opportunity. And we’re very grateful to our colleagues led by Foreign Minister Qureshi under the leadership of both President Zardari and Prime Minister Gillani to really get in depth with the kind of candid, open conversations that should take place among and between friends and partners.

I look forward to the next meeting of the Strategic Dialogue in Washington in October, and I thank everyone who has contributed to the progress that is visually displayed here today. Thank you.

MODERATOR: Thank you very much. The minister and the Secretary will take a few questions. May I first invite Mark Landler of New York Times, please.

QUESTION: Good morning. Thank you very much. A question for both of you: Despite your commitment to opening a new era in Pakistan-U.S. relations and despite the rollout of these American projects illustrated in the maps, public opinion in Pakistan still views the United States and the motives of the U.S. Government with a considerable amount of suspicion. My question is: Why isn’t the American message getting through better?

And then a second question for Minister Qureshi if I may: The Obama Administration is in the process of considering whether to place the Haqqani Network on the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations. If the U.S. were to take such a step, do you worry that it would complicate efforts by both the Afghans and the Pakistanis to achieve a political settlement that would bring the war to an end? Thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Mark, I have to begin by saying that I think we are making progress, but I recognize the long road ahead. I said on my visit here last October that there was a trust deficit between our governments that had to be addressed, and that we needed to get beyond rhetoric and beyond the emphasis on security to the kind of in-depth discussion that these dialogue – this dialogue is presenting so that we can take action together. Because obviously, actions speak louder than words, and we are moving into the action phase.

That’s what these projects represent. We want the people of Pakistan to know that we consider our relationship to be one of enduring commitment. I am well aware that in Pakistan’s history, since the founding of the state – Pakistan and I are the same age – and I know that during that time, there have been periods of closeness between the United States and Pakistan that often ended with the people and Government of Pakistan feeling as though the United States had not continued to show the same level of commitment. Earlier today in the dialogues, the finance minister, Minister Shaikh, very briefly summarized the periods of closeness in the ‘60s and the ‘80s, the beginning of this century, which often were around periods of war – the Cold War, the struggle against the Soviet invasion of Russia, the post-9/11 period.

What I am trying to do and what President Obama and I have made clear will be American policy – what the Kerry-Lugar-Berman Act and the new financial commitment represents – is that we are looking to establish a much broader, long-lasting foundation of collaboration and assistance that will truly assist the people of Pakistan to make the kind of progress toward peace and prosperity that they yearn for.

So we know that there is some questioning, even suspicion about what the United States is doing today. And I can only respond by saying that very clearly, we have a commitment that is much broader and deeper than it has ever been, that we expect to start seeing results. It is bipartisan, it is both of the Executive Branch and the congressional branch in our country, and we are going to continue to work to achieve very tangible results of this new high-level engagement.

FOREIGN MINISTER QURESHI: To respond to you, sir, opinion about the U.S. and Pakistan will change when the people of Pakistan see how, through this partnership, their lives have changed. And in this dialogue, we are focusing on projects, on sectors that would make a qualitative difference to the lives of ordinary Pakistanis. So they understand that this relationship is beyond security. This is a relationship that improves our purchasing power, our quality of life, and then a different message is understood.

Of course we have to communicate better. Of course realizing the difficulties that we’ve had in the past, now there is a new public diplomacy effort into the dialogue. It’s been sort of weaved into. We have a set – we have – one of the sectoral engagements is about public diplomacy so that the message reaches the right place. And then on the issue of – about the different networks and the efforts of reconciliation, United States, Pakistan are agreed with the rest of the international community to the targets set by us at the London conference. We have a very broad, very clearly identified direction today. And after the revision of the strategy by the Obama Administration, I think the objectives and the targets and the goals are very clear, and whether it’s reconciliation or reintegration.

And today, Pakistan and Afghanistan’s situation is dramatically different. We have improved our relationship. And what you saw yesterday was a reflection of a renewed confidence that Afghanistan has in Pakistan and Pakistan has with Afghanistan. So this will make the difference.

MODERATOR: Yes, (inaudible) please.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, the elected president of Afghanistan has given – been given the mandate by his people in the loya jirga to speak to the Taliban for others who oppose him. After that, you said in your interview with the BBC that you are going to now announce the Haqqani group as a terrorist group. What took you so long, Madam Secretary?

And another question: Do you have the figures, the numbers of the Afghans who have died or been killed in Afghanistan? Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: We are supportive, as Foreign Minister Qureshi just said, of the reconciliation and reintegration efforts undertaken by President Karzai and the Afghan Government. We have made it clear that we think reconciliation cannot succeed unless the insurgents, who have been fighting the Afghan Government over the last several years, recognize the importance of renouncing violence if they wish to enter into the political system, renounce al-Qaida, which remains at the center of a syndicate of terror across the world, and agree to abide by the constitution and the laws of Afghanistan.

It seems to us that there will be some who are willing to meet those conditions and others who are not. And we would strongly advise our friends in Afghanistan to deal with those who are committed to a peaceful future where their ideas can compete in the political arena through the ballot box, not through the force of arms. And there are those who will never be reconciled, and we hope that they can be defeated because they pose a continuing threat to Afghanistan and, by extension, to Pakistan. The loss of life of Afghan civilians and of Afghan soldiers is too high. The loss of any life in Afghanistan, whether it be Afghani or American or any other contributor to Afghanistan’s freedom, democracy, and stability is too high.

But we have made it clear we will stand by Afghanistan as they pursue a peaceful path. We hope that their reconciliation and reintegration efforts can bear fruit. But we stand ready to continue to assist them in their efforts against the Taliban and the havoc that they cause in the way that they intimidate and attack innocent Afghan people that really undermines the prospects for the peaceful outcome that I know President Karzai is committed to.

MODERATOR: Mr. Jay Solomon of Wall Street Journal, please.

QUESTION: Thank you. This question is for both of you. Secretary Clinton, today, you outlined the push to help Pakistan meet its energy needs, but at the same time, I know the State Department is concerned about an impending sale of nuclear reactors from China to Pakistan. What message are you telling the Pakistanis about the U.S. position on this sale? And how are you sort of marrying the desire to help Pakistan’s energy needs, but these concerns about proliferation and the nuclear question?

And for you, Minister, as well, what is Pakistan telling the U.S. as far as its plans of going ahead with this purchase of nuclear reactors from China? And what does Pakistan need to do to get greater support internationally for its use of nuclear technologies? Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Jay, we are constantly talking with Pakistan about its energy needs, including the role for nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. We believe that the Nuclear Suppliers Group, which has recently met to examine the sale that you’re referring to, has posed a series of questions that should be answered, because as part of any kind of transaction involving nuclear power, there are concerns by the international community. Pakistan knows that. We’ve conveyed them. Other members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group has conveyed them. And we look forward to the answers to those questions that were posed at the meeting just recently held in New Zealand.

FOREIGN MINISTER QURESHI: The energy needs of Pakistan are obvious. The people of Pakistan are facing outages, six to eight hours in the urban areas and 10 to 12 hours in the rural areas. Our economic growth has been impacted. Our agriculture production has suffered on account of that. So this government, under the leadership of President Zardari and Prime Minister Gillani, have set forth a very clear target on bridging the energy deficit.

Now, how do we propose doing that? We are doing it through an energy mix. We are tapping on the indigenous sources that we have – that’s coal. We are trying to undertake new hydro projects because there’s a huge capacity for hydro generation. We are looking at other sort of renewables like solar and wind energy. And we are sort of making advances there.

We are trying to make our existing system more responsive and more efficient, and of course, in this mix, there is a component of nuclear energy. Pakistan has 35 years experience of generating nuclear energy. And fortunately, and because of the precautions that we have taken and the systems in place, there has been no untoward incident.

Now, this is part of our bag, but our policy on nonproliferation is very clear. And in the nuclear summit that we had, which was led by President Obama in Washington, Pakistan’s position was very obvious and very clear and endorsed by the international community that how Pakistan’s program is not only safe; it is responsible. So I see there is – there should be no fear on that account. And these projects that we intend to undertake will be open to IAEA inspection. So we will satisfy the international community and their concerns and we will address them to their satisfaction.

MODERATOR: Last question for Mr. (inaudible), please.

QUESTION: Well, Madam, in your opening remarks this morning, you mentioned about differences between United States and Pakistan, and right now, also you mentioned about trust deficit. Would you like to elaborate a bit? And tomorrow, there is an international conference being convened in Kabul a bit about that.

Mr. Qureshi, you also, in your opening remarks particularly, mentioned about unbiased energy cooperation. I would also like you to elaborate that. Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, thank you. I’m very positive about the state of our relationship because I think we have moved beyond either a standoff of our misunderstandings that were allowed to fester and not addressed to a position where we are engaged in the most open dialogue that I think our two countries have ever had. And I believe that is what friends and partners should do.

So I find the progress that we’ve made together with the Government of Pakistan, a democratically elected government that has demonstrated its willingness to tackle some of Pakistan’s hardest problems, doing what’s been done in economic reform, doing what must be done in tax reform, dealing with the energy shortages – these are difficult problems. And I am very pleased and impressed to see the leadership of the Government of Pakistan tackling these hard problems.

At the same time, the United States has had to ask ourselves, how can we be a better partner, how can we provide more support for what the people and Government of Pakistan are trying to do on their own. So of course, there is a legacy of suspicion that we inherited. I’m well aware of that. It is not going to be eliminated overnight. It is, however, our goal to slowly but surely demonstrate that the United States is concerned about Pakistan for the long term and that our partnership goes far beyond security against our common enemies.

That, of course, is a paramount concern because when people are dying because they go to worship or they go to shop, that is something that should offend the conscience of all people. And so of course, we will stand with Pakistan as you pursue this very difficult struggle against those who would take innocent life and attack the very foundation of the state of Pakistan. But in order to broaden and deepen our relationship, we’ve gone far beyond security. As both the minister and I have said, we are looking at 13 separate sectors. Now, one might ask, what does exporting mangos have to do with security? Well, probably not very much, but any time we can put people to work, open markets, create more opportunity in Pakistan, that in and of itself is a good thing. And it is something that the United States is committed to doing.

So I see progress. Maybe I see it from a closer position than many of the people in the country do as yet, but we are committed to this. I am personally committed. And we are going to stay the course and do everything we can to help create the kind of future that the people of Pakistan deserve.

FOREIGN MINISTER QURESHI: I quite agree with what the Secretary of State has said, that both of us are carrying the baggage of history, and we recognize that. Despite that, we have agreed to engage in a meaningful manner, and not just talk to each other. We are listening to each other. And there’s a big difference in talking to each other and listening to each other. The difference is we are listening to each other.

Now, we have our interests; they have their interests. We have our concerns; they have their concerns. The agreement is that we have to respect and be responsive to each other’s interests and concerns. I can say this with confidence that the convergence of interests that we have today, whether it’s democracy or women empowerment, institution-building in Pakistan, fighting and defeating extremism and terrorism and other areas is much more than ever before. And that is why this relationship is now becoming a partnership.

MODERATOR: Thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you.

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Well, it isn’t much, but I wanted to share some of today’s pictures.  I don’t have time to post more than this right now, but I know readers like to see the pictures.  Her eyes are very deep blue today. (Shallow comment over.)

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One thing we love (among SO MANY!!) about our lovely and brilliant Secretary of State is her creativity and devotion in celebrating designated months. She has a way of setting off fireworks – sometimes even by accident. Due to the earthquake in Chile, her original itenerary for her March tour of South America was altered and diverted her to Buenos Aires where she spent day one of Women’s History Month at the Casa Rosada (RICH with women’s history) with President Cristina Kirchner.

While I will repeat my disappointment that her Gay Pride Month Proclamation was not sent out as a press release but rather buried in a section of the State Department website that you had to know to go to, I am heartened that she and Administrator Shah are participating in this event on Tuesday since I know that the SOS had nothing to do with hiding the proclamation.

Secretary Clinton and USAID Administrator Shah to Deliver Remarks at Event Celebrating LGBT Month on June 22

Office of the Spokesman

Washington, DC
June 18, 2010

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Rajiv Shah will deliver opening remarks on “LGBT Human Rights and U.S. Foreign Policy” at an event co-hosted by State’s Office of Civil Rights and GLIFFA, the organization for Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies, on Tuesday, June 22 at 11:00 a.m., at the Department of State.
The event is part of LGBT Pride Month celebrations at the U.S. Department of State and USAID.
Following the opening remarks, Assistant Secretary for Populations, Refugees, and Migration Eric Schwartz will lead a panel discussion with Deputy Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Daniel Baer, Mark Bromley of the Council for Global Equality, and Cary Johnson of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission.
The event will be open to credentialed members of the media and can be watched live on www.state.gov.

Then there is this bringing a smile to my face.

Pakistan: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Visit in July

VOA News 19 June 2010

Pakistan’s foreign minister says U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will visit Islamabad in July.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi told reporters Saturday that his American counterpart would be visiting for a second session of their U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue. The first session was held in March.

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Readers here are well aware of how happy FM Qureshi is to make this announcement.

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Clearly the Secretary of State had a very busy day in the middle of a very busy week. She was “on” all day as host of this conference, and, as a result, there is a ton of pictures to be viewed. Since Wednesday is always my busiest and longest day, I just now at 10:15 p.m. finished collecting all the photos. The best (and fastest) way for me to post them is via a bulk upload, so here is a photo gallery of her remaining breathtakingly beautiful throughout a breathtakingly busy day.

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