U.S. Holds Trilateral Meeting With Afghanistan and Pakistan

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
May 6, 2009

Secretary Clinton held the second trilateral meeting with Afghan and Pakistani leaders today. During the meeting, the Secretary said:"I am pleased to announce that Afghanistan and Pakistan have reached an important milestone in their efforts to generate foreign investment and stronger economic growth and trade opportunities. Before President Karzai and President Zardari meet with President Obama this morning, the two ministers, Minister Qureshi and Minister Spanta, will sign a Memorandum of Understanding committing their countries to achieving a trade transit agreement by the end of the year, which we believe will have great economic benefits for both peoples.

This is an historic event. This agreement has been under discussion for 43 years without resolution. But when I think about Afghanistan and Pakistan, and I look at the map of the world and see how strategically located both countries are, this is an agreement that will bring prosperity to both countries, along the trade routes and beyond. Nothing opens up an area to economic development better than a good road with good transit rules and an ability to transport goods and people effectively. So we think this will be enormously beneficial, and I congratulate both countries."

Read the full remarks from today's meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari or Secretary Clinton's statement at the first trilateral meeting with Afghan Foreign Minister Spanta and Pakistani Foreign Minister Qureshi.

Comments

Comments

Masood
|
California, USA
May 7, 2009

Masood in California writes:

Indeed an historic event getting a commitment on trade transit agreement that will open up much needed trade for both Pakistan and Afghanistan. And would certainly open up logistic routes for U.S. and NATO to fight terrorism effectively. Secretary Clinton you have done an excellent job in trilateral meeting.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
May 7, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Regardless of what governments do, it is the populations of Pakistan and Afghanistan who will determine the outcome.

Governments act most effectively when they set the stage for a renassance.

Thousands flee Swat and Pakistan must assure their safe return home, and sustenance in the meantime.

This situation represents the Pakistani government's quickest way to gain the trust and confidence of its own people, that this can be handled successfully by the government and its armed forces.

Can't do this by military means alone, true, but "without security, nothing can be built." to quote Karzai.

Lot of folks saying this will be "a long, hard slog" but when the population turns against the taliban and al-quaida, having recognized their insideous attempts to manipulate old animosities, one may anticipate miracles.

joe
|
Tennessee, USA
May 12, 2009

Joe in Tennessee writes:

All the coziness and false humility in the world does not end up on the bottom line. I simply wonder if they are not instigating the problem to continue to gain buckets of money from U.S. citizens and not actually have any responsibility. After all, if they fail at any juncture, they seem to fall back on the U.S. or UN as the responsible parties and seldom, if ever takes absolute responsibility for any decisions or actions which fail.

1. First get them to verify what Pakistan did with the 3 billion we gave them to fight this problem recently? Or was it 30 billion over the last years?

2. Since Pakistan wants the US as an ally and we gave them their WMD, why not ask them to give them back first? For what reason do they need them in actuality? What express reason does an unstable government need a WMD? How to they differ from North Korea at this juncture? At least we know where Kim stands and will stand even without him.

These are just general questions I hear others ask and wonder what some here may think along these lines.

Is it possible that the leaderships of both countries are milking the U.S.? Without the U.S., what exactly does each country have to offer, even by export? We seem to be paying a high price for Strategic land and they know it.

Ron
|
New York, USA
May 7, 2009

Ron in New York writes:

The key to driving down Taliban/AQ/Terrorism and Warlordism; lies in taking control of the Afghan-Pak border passes, through which, illicit guns, gems, trafficked goods, and other supplies finance the enemies of a democratic region. Let's get on with it. Go State!

Patrick
|
Maryland, USA
May 8, 2009

Patrick in Maryland writes:

Hi, Peoples of the States Department & Netizens :)

I thought the speeches of the Presidents of Afghanistan and Pakistan ,were very good. Their working togetheron the terrorist problem, trading, farming and economy of both their countries is a step towards a closer friendship between all three of our Countries.

It's good to see that Democracy is working so well for the Pakistian people. I think for just seven months, that their government has come a long way for a new democratic country. I wish them the best in their future.

I also thought that the President of Afghanistan was very nice, to have thanked the Army Troops for their work inhis Country.

It's good to see Hillary is feeling better. Have a good weekend ...Cya.... :) ..

Lindsay
|
Canada
May 10, 2009

Lindsay in Canada writes:

Hello to everyone at the Department of the State,

Pakistan's army vowed Friday to eliminate militants from a north-western valley but warned that its under-equipped troops face thousands of Taliban extremists who have seized towns, planted bombs and dragooned children to be suicide bombers. As air force jets roared overhead and gun battles raged, terrified civilians from the Swat Valley and neighbouring districts accelerated their exodus, with UN and Pakistani officials predicting one million refugees will soon burden the turbulent Afghan border region.

I commend the efforts of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Obama Administration in working with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari in mapping out a comprehensive war strategy to pacify large areas on both sides of the Afghan-Pakistan border currently controlled by Islamist rebels.

The army formally announced Friday that an offensive was under way. It has drawn praise from U.S. officials alarmed at the Taliban's recent advance to within 60 miles of the capital, Islamabad

Washington describes the militants as an existential threat to nuclear-armed Pakistan itself, as well as to US chances of destroying al-Qaida or of winning the war against the insurgent allies in neighbouring Afghanistan.

The army is now engaged in a full-scale operation to eliminate the militants, miscreants and anti-state element from Swat. They are on the run and trying to block the exodus of civilians from the area. Since Pakistan has a nuclear arsenal and neighbours Afghanistan, I'm gravely concerned about the country's stability. Is there hope that a peace agreement can be made?

Happy Mother's Day

Donald
|
Virginia, USA
May 11, 2009

Donald in Virginia writes:

HUNT FOR USAMA BIN LADEN

I believe most Americans have seen the movie, "First Blood" and if you recall Stallon character hid in a cave. Which makes me think is it remotely possible that Usama bin laden had an escape plan inside the cave of Tora Bora? I believe our Soldiers in Afghanistan should go back to Tora Bora and do a complete CSI of the cave. A complete verification of what's inside, and if there were any escape routes deep in the cave. Then I would also make a suggestion to do a 50 miles radius around where Tora Bora is located and run ground radar to verify if there are any tunnels buried beneath the surface. The hunt for Usama bin laden should continue until he is found dead or alive.

Zharkov
|
United States
May 12, 2009

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

Before Saddam Hussein was our enemy, he was our friend.

Before Osama bin Laden was our enemy, he was our friend.

Before Fidel Castro was our enemy, he was our friend.

Before Hitler was our enemy, he was our friend.

Before Stalin was our enemy, he was our friend.

So before Pakistan and Afghanistan get too excited about being our friends, they may want to consider our track record.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
May 12, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

(little something I found in my in-box recently)

USAID Announces New Mission Director for Afghanistan _____

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 8, 2009 Press Office: WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Acting Administrator, Alonzo Fulgham administered today the oath of office to William Frej as the new mission director for Afghanistan.

Frej is a Minister Counselor in the Senior Foreign Service and has worked for USAID for the past twenty years in both overseas and Washington, D.C. assignments.

"This is not an easy job, and certainly not one that anybody can do. It is a job that requires USAID's brightest and most capable staff. I have worked with Bill for many years and know from personal experience that USAID is sending one of its most talented leaders to Afghanistan," said Fulgham prior to administering the oath.

Frej will manage USAID programs in Afghanistan estimated at $2 billion in FY 2009, supporting the President's new counterinsurgency strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan. He will oversee activities which focus on increasing the effectiveness of the delivery services to the Afghan people by the Afghan government and reducing the numbers of potential insurgents through economic growth and job creation. Frej will also oversee continued efforts in the social sector, including health and education programs that provide tangible evidence of government service delivery.

In 2002 and 2003, Frej was a staff member of President Bush's foreign policy team, serving as Director for Development Issues at the National Security Council in the White House.

Prior to this appointment, he held the position of Director of the Office of Market Transition in the Europe and Eurasia Bureau at USAID headquarters in Washington, D.C.

In his last two overseas posts, Frej was USAID Mission Director in the Central Asian Republics and USAID Mission Director in Jakarta, Indonesia, where he led the United States Government's relief and reconstruction program following the historic tsunami and earthquake in Aceh.

He was awarded the Presidential Meritorious Honor Award in 2006.

While based in Warsaw, he served as Director for the Regional Urban Development Office for Central and Eastern Europe, managing municipal development programs in Albania, the Baltic countries, Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland.

Prior to his European assignments, he served for seven and one half years in the USAID Mission in Jakarta, Indonesia, as municipal finance advisor, Director of the Housing and Urban Development Office for East Asia and as Director for the Office for Private Sector Development.

Frej studied architecture at the University of Notre Dame, earned a B.S. in Architecture from the University of Arizona, and a Master of City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley. Before joining USAID, he served as an administrator with the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board and as a social policy planner with Berkeley's National Housing and Economic Development Law Project.

He was raised in Maquoketa, Iowa and he and his wife, Anne, now consider Santa Fe, New Mexico as their home town.

The U.S. Agency for International Development has provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for nearly 50 years. _____

I wish Mr. Frej all the best as he embarks on his new assignment.

Since we both call the "city different" home (city dysfunctional in some respects), sending him on his way with local support seemed appropriate.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
May 12, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Men come and go, but diplomacy abides.

ek
|
New Hampshire, USA
May 12, 2009

E.K. in New Hampshire writes:

What a wonderful exchange between the people who will be of great importance for the peaceful direction of this beautiful world we all share. Thank you ALL.

Many happy returns,
ek

Ron
|
New York, USA
May 12, 2009

Ron in New York writes:

Thinking outside the Box:

Project Af-Pak Sting:

Controlled deliveries of illicit commodities between Afghan and Pak border regions would yield invaluable intelligence on links between organized crime, corrupt officials and terror groups.

Ron
|
New York, USA
May 15, 2009

Ron in New York writes:

AF-PAK: Outside-the-Box

Get beyond war, drones, cyber-attack......go to Nano-Techmarking of cash and other currencies (dual-use commodities) to track and trace the flows from corrupt officials, crime groups, terrorists.....Get inside the AF-PAK cash flow and break it.

.

Latest Stories

September 8, 2009

Back to Sudan

Writing for the U.S. Department of State DipNote blog, Special Envoy Scott Gration previews his upcoming trip to Sudan. more

Pages