U.S.-Pakistan Dialogue focuses on taking strategic partnership forward

Washington, D.C. Mar.2 (ANI): The strategic dialogue between the United States and Pakistan while reiterating commitment to counter terrorism, has also focussed on ways to take the strategic partnership between the two countries forward.

Pakistan’s Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz held strategic dialogue with United States Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington on February 29 where they met for the sixth ministerial-level Pakistan-U.S. Strategic Dialogue.

Both the nations committed to continue promoting peace, stability, and transparency in the region and to eliminate the threats posed by violent extremism and terrorism.

The two countries also looked forward to the Law Enforcement and Counterterrorism working group meeting in which both the nations will work together to further bolster the capacity of Pakistan’s judicial and law enforcement authorities to enforce the rule of law and combat terrorism, including the financing of terrorism.

Both the nations agreed to further enhance cooperation between their respective counter terrorism authorities, to enhance bilateral cooperation and information-sharing between Afghanistan and Pakistan, including through joint training, to better interdict the flow of illicit materials and narcotics.

The two sides also emphasized the importance of strengthening Pakistan’s capabilities to more effectively counter the use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

The United States reiterated its continuing support for the Armed Forces of Pakistan in their ongoing counterinsurgency operations in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and disruption of militant networks.

Both sides expressed the importance of bilateral defense cooperation as serving their mutual interest and noted their willingness to explore new avenues to refine defense collaboration.

Both sides noted the challenges of enabling the return of internally displaced persons to the FATA in the wake of operations.

Pakistan expressed its appreciation for the pledge of $250 million announced by Secretary Kerry in 2015 for the relief, recovery and rehabilitation of Internally Displaced Persons from the FATA.

Both sides underscored the need for effective action against all violent extremists that threaten regional security.

The United States appreciated role Pakistan’s role in helping to degrade al-Qa’ida and its affiliates.

Pakistan reaffirmed its commitment to taking action, in line with the country’s National Action Plan, to ensure that the Taliban are unable to operate from Pakistani soil.

Asserting that the emerging terrorist threat posed by ISIL/Da’esh in the region, both the countries agreed to together work closely to counter the threat and affirmed their commitment to combat the extremist ideology that fuels such groups.

Pakistan reiterated its firm resolves not to allow ISIL/Da’esh to develop a foothold in its territory, and the United States expressed its appreciation for Pakistan’s efforts in this regard.

Apart from that both the nations reaffirmed the importance to prevent the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and their means of delivery to states as well as non-state actors.

Both nations resolved to work together to achieve the objectives of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1540, and noted that both have supported and implemented relevant UNSC Resolutions.

Both countries also highlighted the constructive discussion at the 2015 meeting of the Security, Strategic Stability and Nonproliferation (SSS&NP) working group.

The United States appreciated Pakistan’s proactive engagement with the international community, including through its hosting of IAEA training activities at its Nuclear Security Center of Excellence and its active participation in the Nuclear Security Summits.

The United States looked forward to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s participation in the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit. It also appreciated Pakistan’s commitment to ratify the 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material.

Pakistan affirmed that it remains committed to pursuing measures aimed at building confidence and lessening the risk of armed conflict.

Both nations recognized the shared interest in strategic stability in South Asia and looked forward to the upcoming Security, Strategic Stability, and Nonproliferation (SSS&NP) working group meeting in May 2016.

The meeting of Advisor Aziz and Secretary Kerry was built on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s successful visit to Washington in October 2015, with the two sides reiterating their commitment to further strengthening the United States’ and Pakistan’s strong, multifaceted partnership across a range of critical issues, as exemplified by the framework of the Strategic Dialogue.

The last ministerial-level Strategic Dialogue was held in Islamabad on January 13, 2015. (ANI)

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