Islamabad: Foreign Minster Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar welcome Mr. Grossman to what is now his fourth or fifth visit to Pakistan. We know that Mr. Grossman took on a very important responsibility few months back. I have just told him that if his glob-trotting is anything to go by, we can reconfirm his commitment to his position.
As you know we had an important dialogue in New York recently with the US Secretary of State in which Mr. Grossman was also present. We would say it was an intense and yet very constructive dialogue. In Pakistan, we understand, realize and fully appreciate the importance of Pakistan-US relationship.
This is the relationship which is important, of course very important at the bilateral level between these two important countries.
But this is a relationship which has now gained even more importance in the regional context as Pakistan is an important stakeholder in the region; and also at the global plane where Pakistan’s efforts and sacrifices as the frontline state in the global effort to fight terrorism as it exists in the region.
This is also a relationship which has a lot of investment from the both sides over may be more than 60 years.
You know the Working Groups for the Strategic Dialogue Process are continuing to work. We look forward to the strategic dialogue continuing to build pace and work as we go forward.
You also know that with the US we are working at different planes for peace and stability within the region. We are also part of the Core Group which includes US Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Today most of our interaction was of course at the bilateral level and on how to continue to build on partnership which I said is important not only for the two countries but also for the region and for the world. I think this is going to continue to be an intensive process and in which we have and would like to have meeting of minds as we go forward.
Every interaction that we have had gives us an opportunity to share views and understand each others’ perspectives more clearly. We would like to believe that this would lead to strategic coherence that we often talked about.
Today we have also talked in great detail about the Conference in Istanbul. Pakistan wants that Istanbul process to come through with resounding success. Pakistan, as an important stake holder in the region, would like play very constructive role within that.
So let me say that all in all we had discussions on the bilateral relationship between Pakistan and US, different events within the region, our role within the region and our efforts to be able to build the partnership between the US and Pakistan and to be able to take this forward in a constructive manner.
Ambassador Marc Grossman
Minister, thank you very much and thanks to all of you for coming as well. Before I do anything else, let me thank the Minister and her colleagues for the hospitality we were shown today. Let me first say, like the Minister said, I am delighted to be back here, this is the fifth visit that I have made as Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.
To let you know what I am doing today, we arrived this morning and had the good fortune to call on General Kayani; we visited the Prime Minister and just now had an excellent meeting with the Foreign Minister and we are on our way to see President Zardari.
In all our meetings I have had a chance to report to the leadership of Pakistan about the trip that I have undertaken in support of the very important international meeting that the Foreign Minister mentioned in Istanbul and also in support of the very important international meeting which will come some days later on the 5th of December in Bonn.
I have been over the past few days in Central Asia, Beijing, Turkey and India. In all those places I had a chance to present the possibility that the Conference in Istanbul and the Conference in Bonn will bring the international community in the region to the understanding that we need of all us to support a secure and stable Afghanistan inside of a secure and stable region.
I am delighted to say that I met the Foreign Minister and we have complete meeting of minds as she said that as a neighbour of Afghanistan, that this idea that in Istanbul we can talk about the secure and stable Afghanistan inside of a secure and stable region is extremely important.
As the Minister said, we also spent some time this morning talking about bilateral relations between Pakistan and US which is important for the United States and I believe also, if I may say, for Pakistan and as she said we tried to think about the future, and the way to keep the strategic dialogue we have going.
She suggested and we talked about the Working Groups that have already met and will meet again and perhaps one or two others in that same category. We talked about how we can continue in a systematic way in order to identify the interests that we have in common and there are many and find ways to work on them jointly.
Finally I would say the Minister and I and our colleagues and Ambassador Munter tried to talk about the future and how to continue this dialogue between Pakistan and US and continue the work that we are doing together.
So thank you, Minister, again for your time and hospitality.
For more information, contact:
Syed Haider Ali Jafri
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Government of Pakistan
Tel: +9251 921 0335 and 9056604