U.S., Pakistan to Discuss Counterterrorism Cooperation in March

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Pakistani national security and foreign affairs adviser Sartaj Aziz arrive at a ministerial-level meeting at the State Department in Washington on Monday. Diplomats from the two nations will meet in March to discuss new cooperation on countering terrorism.
National Journal
Rachel Oswald
Add to Briefcase
Rachel Oswald
Jan. 28, 2014, 5:46 a.m.

U.S. and Pakistani dip­lo­mats will meet in March to dis­cuss “ad­di­tion­al joint steps” to counter ter­ror­ism, the two na­tions said in a joint state­ment.

The Monday re­lease by the State De­part­ment fol­lowed the first min­is­teri­al-level meet­ing of the U.S.-Pakistan Stra­tegic Dia­logue since 2011, held in Wash­ing­ton.

The up­com­ing Law En­force­ment and Coun­terter­ror­ism Work­ing Group gath­er­ing, also in Wash­ing­ton, will ad­dress “coun­terter­ror­ism co­oper­a­tion and as­sist­ance, as well as ad­di­tion­al joint steps to counter im­pro­vised ex­plos­ive devices, dis­rupt ter­ror­ist fin­an­cing, and im­prove bor­der man­age­ment,” the two sides said.

At this week’s meet­ings, U.S. Sec­ret­ary of State John Kerry hos­ted a Pakistani del­eg­a­tion, led by na­tion­al se­cur­ity ad­viser to the prime min­is­ter, Sartaj Aziz.

In the writ­ten state­ment, Wash­ing­ton’s top dip­lo­mat voiced as­sur­ance that Pakistan is de­voted to en­sur­ing the se­cur­ity of its nuc­le­ar ar­sen­al.

“Sec­ret­ary Kerry ex­pressed con­fid­ence in Pakistan’s com­mit­ment and ded­ic­a­tion to nuc­le­ar se­cur­ity and ap­pre­ci­ation for Pakistan’s ef­forts to im­prove its stra­tegic trade con­trols,” reads the joint state­ment. “He also re­cog­nized that Pakistan is fully en­gaged with the in­ter­na­tion­al com­munity on nuc­le­ar safety and se­cur­ity is­sues.”

Is­lamabad’s abil­ity to pro­tect its ex­pand­ing nuc­le­ar arms en­ter­prise has been an on­go­ing con­cern for Wash­ing­ton amid fears that Pakistani-based mil­it­ants might launch at­tacks on mil­it­ary bases that hold stra­tegic ma­ter­i­als.

“I think few have suffered more at the hands of ter­ror­ists and ex­trem­ists than the people of Pakistan,” Kerry said in pub­lic re­marks on Monday pri­or to the stra­tegic dia­logue. “It re­mains es­sen­tial for the United States and Pakistan to con­tin­ue to find av­en­ues of co­oper­a­tion on coun­terter­ror­ism, on nuc­le­ar se­cur­ity.”

The two gov­ern­ments are work­ing to move past a 2012 break­down in re­la­tions over U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan. Pres­id­ent Obama in Oc­to­ber hos­ted Pakistani Prime Min­is­ter Nawaz Sharif for a White House meet­ing, where he also ex­pressed con­fid­ence in Pakistani nuc­le­ar se­cur­ity.

“The re­sump­tion of this dia­logue after a gap of three years sym­bol­izes the in­her­ent re­si­li­ence and sig­ni­fic­ance of this re­la­tion­ship,” Aziz said.

What We're Following See More »
Statehood, Metro Come Up as Bowser Meets Trump
2 minutes ago

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser met with Donald Trump this morning in Manhattan, with statehood and the Metro system on the agenda. “We talked about the things that are important to Washingtonians, and certainly becoming the 51st state is one of them," she said after the meeting. She also made the point that the District is “not dependent on the federal government for our funds," and brought up funding for Metro. She told reporters that Trump is a fan of D.C.

Mattis Gets the Official Nod Tonight
1 hours ago
SCOTUS Sides with Samsung Over Apple
1 hours ago

"A unanimous Supreme Court on Tuesday sided with smartphone maker Samsung in its high-profile patent dispute with Apple over design of the iPhone. The justices said Samsung may not be required to pay all the profits it earned from 11 phone models because the features at issue are only a tiny part of the devices. Apple had won a $399 million judgment against Samsung for copying parts of the iPhone's patented design, but the case now returns to a lower court to decide what Samsung must pay."

Pentagon Hid Evidence of Waste
2 hours ago

"The Pentagon has buried an internal study that exposed $125 billion in administrative waste in its business operations amid fears Congress would use the findings as an excuse to slash the defense budget, according to interviews and confidential memos obtained by The Washington Post."

Texas GOP Elector Won’t Cast Vote For Trump
2 hours ago

Christopher Suprun, a GOP elector from Texas, announced in an op-ed for The New York Times that he will not cast his vote in the electoral college for Donald Trump. This one vote will not keep Trump from getting to the 270 necessary to secure an electoral victory, but stands as a strong statement of rebuke. "I am asked to cast a vote on Dec. 19 for someone who shows daily he is not qualified for the office," Suprun wrote.


Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.