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On Tuesday, President Obama presented an overview of our country’s strategy for engagement in Afghanistan and with Pakistan. This strategy is the product of broad consultation, including with many of our partners in Pakistan.
We join the people of Pakistan in our deep concern about the threat posed by al-Qaida and its extremist allies. We condemn the violence that has been inflicted on innocent Pakistani people in recent months with bombings and other brutal assaults targeting civilians, your military, and other important aspects of your country and society. We are committed to Pakistan’s security, stability, and sovereignty for the long term.
President Obama’s strategy reflects our nation’s commitment to building a broad partnership with the Pakistani people, one based on common values and a shared commitment to democratic rule, robust economic development, the defeat of militants and terrorists who hide along your western border, and the safety and security of all Pakistanis.
We’ve already begun to implement elements of President Obama’s strategy. We have requested a significant increase in economic development assistance, including through the landmark Kerry-Lugar-Berman legislation. We are launching initiatives to help strengthen Pakistan’s infrastructure, especially in energy and water, which is what the Pakistani people have told us you need, so you can have the resources you require in your homes, schools, and businesses.
And we are committed to strengthening Pakistan’s public institutions so that all people have access to security, education, justice, and most importantly, economic opportunity. As President Obama discussed, the United States has a strong and steadfast interest in Pakistan and Afghanistan’s long-term security and stability. We are determined to work with you as partners in helping you build a stronger nation to make sure your country is not a safe haven for al-Qaida and other violent extremists who threaten your very state.
We know that this is a goal that is important to you as well. We look forward to strengthening and continuing the partnership not only between our governments, but between our people in the months and years to come. Thank you all very much.