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Remarks after Friends of Pakistan Meeting

Remarks after Friends of Pakistan Meeting

Secretary Condoleezza Rice

United Nations Headquarters

New York

September 26, 2008

Other Attendees:
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari,
UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband,
UAE Foreign Minister Abdallah bin Zayid Al Nuhayyan

QUESTION: President Zardari?

PRESIDENT ZARDARI: Good morning. I – we’ve had a very constructive meeting with the EU, the Abu Dhabians, Excellency Condoleezza Rice, His Excellency the Foreign Minister – Secretary of Britain, and all our friends in the EU. We’ve had a very constructive day today, and they’ve all come to the – we’ve all revisited – thought about revisiting it, and making it a permanent body as such. We are meeting again in one month’s time and the venue will be Abu Dhabi. It just proves that all the world cares. People of Pakistan can be rest assured that democracy does work and it is working.

It’s – the success and the victory of a democratic Pakistan that today we are standing before you, talking about the Shaheed Mohatarma Benazir Bhutto doctrine for the situation. And it’s a start for us. We’ve come together to look at the problems, regional problems. We are going to give regional ownership to the problems that Pakistan is facing, and we intend to do something concrete and we are all together in this. Thank you.

QUESTION: Mr. President, have – your expectations have been fulfilled?

SECRETARY RICE: Thank you, Mr. President. We had a very good meeting of the Friends of Pakistan. There is very strong support from the international community for Pakistan’s democratically elected government. We know that Pakistan has many challenges in security, in the economy, and in bringing stability to this young democracy. But I hope that the President and the Pakistani people were assured today that the international community will be by their side as they take difficult decisions and move toward a more stable and prosperous Pakistan. Thank you very much.

QUESTION: Madame Secretary, what are your expectations? How much time Pakistan will take for the recovery of its economy?

SECRETARY RICE: You may –

QUESTION: My question is directed to Madame Secretary.

SECRETARY RICE: Well, I should leave it to the President to talk about the program that they are engaged in. I can just say that we are very engaged with Pakistan, through the international financial institutions, to help Pakistan as it takes the difficult decisions that it is and must take on economic reform. But I know that all of us are working very closely with the international financial institutions to make certain that there is support for Pakistan.

QUESTION: Did you discuss Iran?

QUESTION: (Inaudible) new sanctions?

SECRETARY RICE: That’s why I think you should go.

QUESTION: President Zardari, is Usama bin Ladin in Pakistan? (Laughter.)

PRESIDENT ZARDARI: If I knew that question, you wouldn’t be asking me that question.

QUESTION: President Zardari, did you discuss the killing of Pakistani casualties due to U.S. raids and air raids, which is causing a lot of dissatisfaction in your own country among your own population, and challenging the relation between the U.S. and Pakistan?

PRESIDENT ZARDARI: We’ve always – whenever we meet with our friends, we discuss all the weaknesses and definitely try and break them into our strengths. All weaknesses have to be looked at. And if there has been any weaknesses or any foresight, definitely, we talk about it.

QUESTION: Mr. President –

QUESTION: The U.S. is giving you economic aid on one hand, and the U.S. Central Command is saying Pakistan faces a treacherous existence. Now how do you go? Do you take it as a policy of carrot and a stick by the U.S., or do you take otherwise?

PRESIDENT ZARDARI: I think you take it otherwise, I take it otherwise. I look at U.S. support as a blessing. I look at the world support as a blessing to Pakistan. Pakistan is a country which has a lot of strengths. We have – strength ourself, we are a strong nation, we are 180 million people who are willing to work hard. So all the support that I’m looking for is how to help myself, not – I’m not asking them to give me the fish. I’m going to learn how to fish and make my people fish themselves. Thank you.

QUESTION: Mr. Miliband, did you agree on new sanctions? Mr. Miliband –

QUESTION: What’s the deal with Iran? What – what’s the deal with Iran?

FOREIGN SECRETARY MILIBAND: He’s asking about Iran.

PRESIDENT ZARDARI: We are talking about reforms in our own economy. They’re talking about strengthening democracy, institutions of democracy as such. That’s what the world is looking for.

QUESTION: Mr. Miliband, did you agree on new sanctions on Iran? And Madam Secretary, did you discuss the issue of Pakistani officers firing at American helicopters?

FOREIGN SECRETARY MILIBAND: Could I just say a word about it?

PRESIDENT ZARDARI: Yeah.

FOREIGN SECRETARY MILIBAND: Well, ladies and gentlemen, I’d first of all like to say that I think this Friends of Pakistan meeting today has been a very strong signal of political support, but also practical support to the democratically elected Government of Pakistan. All those at the meeting today expressed their deep condolences with the people of Pakistan about their terrible loss in Islamabad on Saturday.

But equally important, every single one of our countries stands shoulder to shoulder with the Government of Pakistan, the democratically elected Government of Pakistan, and the people of Pakistan in their struggle against terrorism which is a threat to them as well as a threat to us. I hope it’s also useful for you.

And if I could take this opportunity to say a word about the extensive discussions that are going on about the next steps in respect of the uranium – uranium enrichment program. You will know that over the last year or two, the six countries of the E-3+3 have been pursuing a twin-track strategy; on the one hand, making clear to Iran the economic, social, scientific benefits that can accrue from their engagement with the international community on the basis of the agreed rules, and above all, on the basis of the suspension of their uranium enrichment program. If they don’t suspend, then sanctions follow, and three rounds of sanctions have come. Our political directors are working closely together on the next steps in that twin-track strategy.

I think it’s important to say that all the ministers have been discussing this issue amongst themselves and will be presenting a short resolution for consultation today that reaffirms existing resolutions that are on the UN books, that reaffirms the unity of the E-3+3 and our determination to pursue the twin-track strategy, and also our determination to take forward that strategy with further discussions and further steps. We look forward to that resolution being passed. We also look forward to full engagement by the Government of Iran with the very significant offer that is on the table to them.

You will have seen that the IAEA inspectors have failed to get the cooperation that’s necessary from the Government of Iran, and so we will be taking the consequent next steps in our discussions bilaterally and multilaterally on the diplomatic track. As I say, it’s – the resolution will be going into consultation today to affirm our unity, to rally international support, and to show our determination to ensure that the international rules are upheld in this very important area. Thank you very much indeed.

QUESTION: No sanctions, Mr. Miliband?

QUESTION: On Pakistan?

PRESIDENT ZARDARI: (Inaudible) a word or two. You need to address them as well.

FOREIGN MINISTER AL NUHAYYAN: Well, the UAE was very pleased to participate with the President of Pakistan. We fully back Pakistan. The UAE has been a very close ally, friend in Pakistan. But we want to further our relationship with Pakistan. We want to show our Pakistani friends and brothers our commitment towards them. So I really thank our friends from the U.S., from the UK, in joining us today with the President and helping Pakistan in its new future. Thank you very much.

ENDS

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