Pakistan-US decide on strategic priorities for five working groups

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Pakistan and the United States have decided on the strategic priorities for the five working groups including law enforcement and counterterrorism, economics and finance, energy, security, strategic stability and non-proliferation, and the defence consultative group, a joint statement said on Thursday.

According to the joint statement issued by White House, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and US President Barack Obama underscored the importance of further reinforcing the positive momentum in the bilateral relations by promoting people-to-people contacts.

Both the dignitaries discussed Nawaz’s deep commitment to increasing economic growth in Pakistan and to taking the steps necessary to put Pakistan on a path of long-term economic growth and stability, the statement said.

The US president gave the assurance that Washington would strongly support efforts to enlarge and strengthen Pakistan’s economy, particularly in the energy sector, as this sector could play a critical role in ensuring the well-being and prosperity of the people of Pakistan.

President Obama reiterated the US support for the ongoing programmes to strengthen Pakistan’s economy and increased agricultural productivity. He also pledged continued support to help Pakistan address its energy shortfall, a key focus of US assistance to Pakistan.

On defense cooperation between the two countries, President Obama and Prime Minister Nawaz expressed satisfaction with the positive momentum achieved in defence relations and reaffirmed that this partnership should continue to grow and endure.

Both, Obama and Nawaz condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. The prime minister shared his perspective on effective counterterrorism cooperation to achieve the mutual objective of defeating terrorism. President Obama thanked Prime Minister Nawaz for Pakistan’s efforts to help defeat al Qaeda, and both leaders expressed their deep appreciation for the sacrifices of military personnel and civilians in the fight against terrorism and extremism.

Obama and Nawaz renewed their determination to promote peace, stability, and transparency throughout the region. They committed to working together to combat international terrorism and extremism and to promote peace and prosperity.

The two leaders welcomed progress on the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline project, and tasked the Energy Working Group to explore possible further US support for the Central Asia-South Asia electricity line, CASA-1000, in close collaboration with the World Bank.