Fighting terrorism a Common Cause: Obama

US President US President Barack Obama said on Monday that the United States and Pakistan shared a commitment to combating terrorism and violent extremism in all forms, and were united in a fight to ensure the safety and security of their people. “We also share a strong desire for a secure and stable Afghanistan in order to promote the goals of peace, security, and socio-economic development in South Asia,” he said. In a meeting with Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, Jalil Abbas Jilani, President Obama noted that a strong US-Pakistan partnership was vital to regional and international security.

President Obama said he remained committed to deepening and strengthening this relationship and referred to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s October 2013 visit to the US and the January Strategic Dialogue Ministerial meeting in Washington, the first since 2010. The two events underscored “the continued commitment” of the two countries to “advancing our common interests in a stable, secure, and prosperous Pakistan,” he said. “The United States stands with the government of Pakistan to advance development, promote security, and create lasting peace and prosperity for all Pakistanis.” He noted that the US and Pakistan shared many interests and concerns that they must continue to address as partners.

“We are committed to supporting Pakistan’s efforts to improve its economy and look forward to cooperating together on bilateral trade and investment issues,” he said. President Obama acknowledged that in the past the two nations had had occasional differences but they had worked through them and noted that Mr Jilani had played a “crucial role” in putting this relationship back on firmer grounds. “It is my hope that the fundamental goodwill that is shared between the Pakistani and American people will be reflected in our governments’ relationship and that we will continue to make progress in the coming years,” he said.

He noted that this was “a critical and yet positive time” for rebuilding the US-Pakistan relationship, and said that he was eager to work with the Pakistani government to expand the strong friendship the two countries shared. Presenting his credentials to President Obama, Ambassador Jilani said his priority would be to further build the positive momentum created recently. He said that collective and sustained efforts would enable both sides to lay the foundations of a partnership rooted in the shared ideals of democracy and freedom, which “thrives on mutuality of trust, interest and benefit and seeks to maximise the convergences that the two countries have.”  Dwan