Islamabad: Mr. Thomas R. Nides United States Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources called on President Asif Ali Zardari at the Aiwan-e-Sadr today.
He was accompanied by US Ambassador Mr. Cameron Munter, Mr. Dan Feldman, Deputy special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan and other officials.
Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar, Minister for defence, Senator A. Rehman Malik, Minister for Interior, Senator Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Minister for Finance, Mr. M. Salman Faruqui, Secretary General, Ms Hina Rabbani Khar, MOS for foreign affairs, Senator Syeda Sughra Imam, Ms Farahnaz Ispahani, MNA, Mr. Salman Bashir, Foreign Secretary and Mr. Abdul Wajid Rana, Secretary Economic Affairs Division were present during the meeting.
Pak- US bilateral relations and mutual cooperation, progress on various segments of strategic dialogue in the multi-faceted fields, issues of regional stability including countering terrorism and peace in Afghanistan was discussed during the meeting.
The President emphasized on government’s preference for trade rather than aid and said that the enhanced trade and investment ties between the two countries would promote economic activities and also help address the issues of poverty and unemployment in the under developed and militancy affected areas. The President said he was asking the world for helping Pakistan to build its own inherent economic strength through opportunities for greater trade and market access and not just aid. He said that global corporate sector should be incentivized to take part in joint ventures for profit.
The President reiterated Pakistan’s resolve to cooperate with the international forces in combating terrorism and militancy which he termed the common enemy of the world. He said that the government and people of Pakistan have made un-parallel human and economic sacrifices in the process of combating militancy and reiterated to continue the fight till the complete elimination of the vicious elements and forces involved in killing of innocent people in Pakistan and everywhere in the world. He said that it was in interest of both the countries that relations based on respect for sovereignty and mutual trust and mutual interest should move on and carried forward in a mutually beneficial manner.
The visiting US Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Mr. Thomas R. Nides thanked the President for meeting and termed Pakistan as an important ally in the war against terrorism and for defeating the violent extremism. He acknowledged the great sacrifices of the people and law enforcing agencies of Pakistan for the world’s peace in the ongoing struggle against terror. He assured continued support and cooperation of the US government in combating terrorism and in all other fields.
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