Joint communique: $115.5m US food security assistance
By Our Correspondent, Dawn, July 29, 2008
WASHINGTON, July 28: The United States will provide $115.5 million in food security assistance to Pakistan, including $42.5 million over the next nine months, says a joint communiqué issued here on Monday after a meeting between President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. The statement also supports a move in the US Senate to provide $15 billion to Pakistan over 10 years.
The two leaders welcomed recent efforts in the US Congress to extend the United States’ commitment 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, says the communiqué.
The two leaders agreed to institute a separate track for agricultural cooperation under the Strategic Dialogue. 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 programme focussed on improving power availability, affordability and efficiency.
The United States and Pakistan will hold the next round of the US-Pakistan Energy Dialogue this autumn to help Pakistan meet its vast and growing energy needs. The two leaders agreed to hold the next round of Education Dialogue later this year.
They 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.
TRADE AND BUSINESS: 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 towards 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 US-Pakistan Economic Dialogue will be held on August 11 in Islamabad.
SECURITY COOPERATION: The two leaders agreed to strengthen long-term security relationship with a view to enhancing Pakistan’s defence capabilities, especially in the field of counter-terrorism, through training and equipment.
Reconvene the bilateral Defence Consultative Group this autumn with a renewed focus on counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism. Renew cooperative efforts to root out extremism along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, including the North-West Frontier Province, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Balochistan. Expand cooperation between the US and the Pakistani Frontier Corps and other Pakistani security forces on the front lines in the fight against violent extremism.
Focus US security assistance on efforts to enhance the counter-terrorism capability of Pakistan’s military forces.
REGIONAL PEACE, SECURITY: 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 autumn. Hold the next Regional Economic Cooperation Conference in Islamabad this autumn.
Encourage the Pakistan-India Composite Dialogue process to reduce tensions, build trust and resolve all outstanding issues.
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