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President George W. Bush and President Pervez Musharraf met in New York today and reaffirmed the strength and vitality of the bilateral relationship between Pakistan and the United States. The two Presidents expressed the conviction that the global coalition against terrorism is essential for the elimination of the Taliban regime and the Al-Qaida network and those who harbor them. President Musharraf welcomed the clear commitments expressed by President Bush to continued active United States engagement in Pakistan and the entire South Asian sub-continent.
President Bush and President Musharraf reaffirmed the benefits of 50 years of friendship and close cooperation between Pakistan and the United States and recalled the pivotal role of the Pakistan-U.S. alliance in the triumph of the free world at the end of the cold war. They welcomed the revival of this longstanding partnership and expressed their conviction that it would constitute a vital element in the construction of a durable structure of peace, stability, economic growth and enhanced prosperity at the regional and global level. They also held wide-ranging discussions on the current anti-terrorism campaign and exchanged views on bilateral, regional, and international issues.
President Musharraf strongly condemned the terrorist attacks of September 11 and conveyed the sympathy and solidarity of the people and government of Pakistan to the people and government of the United States. President Bush recognized Pakistan's role as a front-line state in the global campaign against terrorism and expressed gratitude for Pakistan's vital support in the international campaign. Both leaders agreed to continue their ongoing excellent cooperation and to pursue a coherent and coordinated diplomatic, political, military, economic, financial and humanitarian strategy to eliminate terrorism.
President Bush stressed that the United States and Pakistan are friends of long-standing and that Pakistan is a great Islamic nation. He emphasized that the United States has great respect for Islam and noted the fast growth of the Islamic community in America. President Bush stated that our campaign is against those who pervert a great religion in the service of evil. President Bush and President Musharraf also discussed means of easing the plight of the Afghan refugees. President Bush recognized the leading role that Pakistan has played in receiving and caring for Afghan refugees and emphasized that the United States is the largest foreign donor of humanitarian aid. Even tonight, using our military resources, United States planes are dropping badly needed food supplies to the Afghan people.
The two presidents agreed that the international community will have to provide sizeable and sustained resources for the reconstruction of Afghanistan. They also affirmed their support for the efforts of the United Nations, Secretary General Annan, and Special Envoy Brahimi. They agreed that peace and stability in Afghanistan can be achieved through the institution of a broad-based, multi-ethnic, representative government, established through consensus among Afghans, and evolved under the auspices of the United Nations. They also acknowledged that Afghanistan should enjoy friendly relations with all its neighbors and be a link between Central and South Asia, and free from the scourge of terrorism and drugs.
President Musharraf welcomed President Bush's decision to lift a number of sanctions that allow the resumption of cooperation with Pakistan. They agreed that the bilateral relationship is built on the shared interests and values of the American and Pakistani peoples. President Bush welcomed the efforts that the Pakistani citizens are making to support the coalition against terrorism. Affirming their commitment to Pakistan's economic stabilization and revival program, President Bush pledged to promote economic assistance to Pakistan.
President Bush confirmed that he will extend support to enable Pakistan to respond to the economic challenges it confronts. The two presidents discussed ways to make good on the enormous potential for increased trade and investment between Pakistan and the United States and agreed to enter into extensive talks regarding economic issues. President Bush affirmed that the United States is committed to working with the international financial institutions to provide additional support for Pakistan. Financial assistance, debt relief, greater trade and investment opportunities, and sound Pakistani economic policies should assist Pakistan in its efforts to spur sustainable economic growth. Additionally, President Bush undertook to consider ways to respond to Pakistan's market access expectations.
President Bush and President Musharraf discussed a broad range of regional security issues. Both underscored the importance of Pakistan to have a successful transition to democracy in 2002. President Bush and President Musharraf agreed to continue and expand defense consultations. President Bush welcomed President Musharraf's commitment to hold elections by October 2002 and to build a stable, democratic and prosperous Pakistan, in which the rights of all Pakistanis are fully protected.
President Bush and President Musharraf expressed shared concern about the threat to global stability posed by the proliferation of ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction. They agreed on the need for a comprehensive approach to counter these threats, including enhanced non-proliferation measures at the global and regional level. President Musharraf looked forward to further discussions with the United States on these issues.
The two leaders discussed ways to promote stability in South Asia. President Bush praised President Musharraf's recent call to Prime Minister Vajpayee of India. President Bush and President Musharraf agreed that India and Pakistan should resolve the Kashmir issue through diplomacy and dialogue in mutually acceptable ways that take into account the wishes of the people of Kashmir.
President Bush and President Musharraf resolved to work together closely to expand bilateral and regional trade. They agreed that launching
a new global trade round in Doha is a top priority for both nations. They confirmed their commitment to achieve open markets in South Asia, including using the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation 's (SAARC) full
potential more effectively. The two leaders agreed that the United States will continue to take steps to strengthen Pakistan's economy. They agreed
that the United States and Pakistan can accomplish great things together and that the American and Pakistani people look forward to building peace,
stability and prosperity, both in South Asia and around the world.
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