Secretary Clinton and Pakistani Foreign Minister Qureshi co-chaired the first U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue at the Ministerial level in Washington, DC on March 24. The Strategic Dialogue, marking a major intensification of our partnership, represents the shared commitment of both nations to strengthening the bilateral relationship based on mutual respect and mutual trust. At the opening session, Secretary Clinton said:
"We have been looking forward to this meeting for a long time. It is the culmination of months of work by people in both our countries. It is the next step in a relationship that stretches back to Pakistan's earliest days, but it is also the start of something new -- a new phase in our partnership, with a new focus and a renewed commitment to work together to achieve the goals we share: stability, prosperity, opportunity for the people of both Pakistan and the United States.
"Now, this is not the first Strategic Dialogue between our countries, but it is the first led by a Foreign Minister and a United States Secretary of State, and it reflects our government's commitment to its success. During my visit to Pakistan in October, Foreign Minister Qureshi and I agreed that it was time for a Strategic Dialogue of this caliber to ensure that the work we do together will yield real and lasting benefits for our citizens. So during the next two days, we will determine concrete steps that our countries will take to advance our work in key areas, including addressing Pakistan's urgent energy needs and helping communities damaged by violence to rebuild. More broadly, we will discuss our goals and vision for our partnership's long-term future and set forth a schedule for that future.
"Pakistan and the United States have come together at critical moments throughout our history. We have provided aid and support to each other at trying times. We have faced wars and responded to natural disasters together. Over the years, our relationship has been tested, but it has always endured. And I am pleased we have come together again -- at this critical moment -- to reinforce our ties and recommit to building a partnership that will last."
Read the Secretary's full remarks here.