President Bush Meets with Prime Minister Gillani of Pakistan

Posted in Pakistan | 30-Jul-08 | Source: White House

President George W. Bush and Pakistani Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani speak to the press Monday, July 28, 2008, on the South Lawn on the White House.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Mr. Prime Minister, welcome. It's been a -- it's been a very constructive morning. We've had a good meeting in the Oval Office. And then I'm going to have lunch with the Prime Minister here in the main White House. And that's fitting. After all, Pakistan is a strong ally and a vibrant democracy. The United States supports the democracy and supports the sovereignty of Pakistan.

We talked about areas of concern. Of course, we're going to spend a lot of time on the economy, about how the United States and Pakistan can continue to cooperate to -- for economic benefits for all the people of Pakistan and for our own country, for that matter. And of course, we talked about the common threat we face: extremists who are very dangerous people. We talked about the need for us to make sure that the Afghan border is secure as best as possible; Pakistan has made a very strong commitment to that. I told the Prime Minister that the United States is committed to helping the Afghan democracy succeed, which is in Pakistan's interest. After all, the Prime Minister wants there to be a peaceful country on his border.

The U.S., I repeat, respects the sovereignty of this democracy. And we also appreciate the Prime Minister's strong words against the extremists and terrorists who not only would do us harm but have harmed people inside -- in Pakistan.

So we welcome you here, Mr. Prime Minister, and looking forward to having a good lunch with you after your statement.

PRIME MINISTER GILLANI: Thank you. Now?

PRESIDENT BUSH: Please, yes, absolutely.

PRIME MINISTER GILLANI: First of all, I want to thank Mr. President Bush for inviting me to United States, and this is my second meeting with the President. Previously I met Mr. President in Sharm el Sheikh, and today again I am meeting Mr. President.

And I appreciate what he has said about supporting democracy, supporting sovereignty, looking after the interests and on a lot of other areas we are -- there's a cooperation between us -- Pakistan, United States have very cordial relations and bilateral relations. And this is not of today -- this is for over 60 years since the creation of Pakistan. We were inspired with their slogan of liberty and self-determination. And now we want to further improve our relations.

We are committed to fight against those extremists and terrorists who are destroying and making the world not safe. And that is -- this is our own war; this is a war which is against Pakistan. And we'll fight for our own past. And that is because I have lost my own leader, Benazir Bhutto, because of the militants, and therefore I assure United States, the people of United States, that majority of the people of Pakistan and the people of those areas, the NWFP and FATA, they are the patriarch, the loyalists, they want the peace in the world, and they want to cooperate. And there are few militants -- they are hand-picked people, militants, who are disturbing this peace. And I assured Mr. President we'll work together for democracy and for the prosperity and peace of the world.


Thank you very much.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Thank you, sir.


Fact Sheet: President Bush Meets with Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani
President Bush Reaffirms Commitment To Expanding A Long-Term Strategic Partnership With Pakistan Focusing On Countering Violent Extremism And Furthering Economic Prosperity, Education, Energy Security, And Development

The United States will continue to work with the democratically elected government of Pakistan as we pursue extremists who are trying to kill innocent Pakistanis and weaken the government that is working to improve the economy, create jobs, and provide education and healthcare to Pakistani citizens. We support the Pakistani government as it moves forward with reforms that will deliver the benefits of democracy to the Pakistani people.

To demonstrate our broad-based commitment, President Bush has pledged substantial food aid to benefit the people of Pakistan. Over the past year, Pakistan has experienced a sharp 70 percent increase in staple food prices. The United States will work to provide a major food security assistance package of over $115 million responding to short and long-term needs. This is consistent with the President's approach to addressing global food security by meeting immediate needs and investing in long-term solutions.

  • Short-term – $42.5 million over the next 6-9 months. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Agency for International Development will provide a package of short-term assistance of $42.5 million that will provide food aid through the World Food Program and our USDA Food for Progress and McGovern-Dole programs.

  • Long-term – Total assistance of an additional $73 million over the next two years. We will also provide additional long-term assistance through U.S. Agency for International Development agricultural development programs and food aid through U.S. Department of Agriculture programs.

President Bush also reaffirmed the United States' commitment to improving governance and economic opportunity in Pakistan through the establishment of Reconstruction Opportunity Zones. The United States and Pakistan will continue economic dialogue on August 11, including discussion of the status of ongoing bilateral investment treaty negotiations, with energy and trade dialogues planned for the fall.

Through our partnership with Pakistan, the United States and the international community are targeting extremists and their allies who are destabilizing to Pakistan and Pakistan's neighbors.

  • Pakistan has been a strong partner in the fight against violent extremism – hundreds of al Qaeda operatives have been captured and turned over to the United States. We will work together to pursue terrorists who try to kill innocent Pakistanis and weaken the government's efforts to provide jobs, education, and healthcare to the people of Pakistan.

  • The Pakistani government has an international obligation to deny any space to militants and terrorists. We seek to work with the Pakistani government as it takes responsibility for protecting the Pakistani people and neighbors. Pakistan is under threat, and we seek to work with Pakistan to address that threat.

  • Before September 11, Pakistan's military forces had not been deployed to the Tribal Areas in decades. Pakistani military, intelligence, and paramilitary forces operating in the border areas have apprehended multiple al Qaeda operatives. We recognize the sacrifice of the many Pakistani troops who have given their lives in the struggle against terror.

Pakistan Remains A Key Ally In The Global War On Terror, And U.S. Economic And Military Assistance Is Needed To Demonstrate Our Desire For A Broad-Based Partnership

Since 2006, we have provided on average $1.59 billion annually for the Government of Pakistan and its citizens. This amounts to $4.8 billion over the past three years – and over $11 billion total since 2001. This includes Coalition Support Funds, Security Assistance, and Humanitarian/Economic Aid.

Coalition Support Funds

Security Assistance

Humanitarian/ Economic Aid

FY 2006

$862 million

$400 million

$677 million

FY 2007

$613 million

$398 million

$542 million

FY 2008

$373 million (to date)

$500 million

$417 million

Total

$1,848 million

$1,298 million

$1,636 million

  • Coalition Support Funds (CSF) represent reimbursements that we provide to Pakistan and other countries for operations carried out in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. In Pakistan, activities that fall under this category include the use of Pakistani facilities and locations, protection of U.S. personnel by Pakistani forces, the establishment of air and ground supply lines to Afghanistan, and Pakistan's own military operations in the tribal areas.

  • Security assistance includes Foreign Military Financing (FMF), counternarcotics, counterterrorism, and military training and education. These programs are used for providing military equipment to the Pakistan army, to assist the army in counterterror and counternarcotics efforts, and to build up the capabilities of the army to partner with us in combating extremism.

  • Humanitarian and economic assistance provides aid to the people of Pakistan to directly improve their livelihoods. With these resources, the United States provides a wide variety of assistance in areas such as democracy promotion, emergency response, health, education, agriculture, and economic development.

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