The United States has voiced full confidence in Pakistan’s efforts to strengthen nuclear security and welcomed the country’s endeavours to harmonise trade controls with those of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, reflecting Washington’s recognition of Pakistan as a responsible nuclear state.
A joint statement released after the US-Pakistan Security, Strategic Stability, and Nonproliferation Working Group meeting under the Strategic Dialogue Wednesday said both sides expressed their shared interest in strategic stability in the region, and underscored the importance of a meaningful South Asian dialogue for resolution of outstanding disputes.
“The U.S. delegation welcomed Pakistan’s efforts to harmonise its strategic trade controls with those of the Nuclear Suppliers Group and other multilateral export control regimes. Both sides emphasised the desirability of continued outreach to integrate Pakistan into the international nonproliferation regime,” the statement said.
At the State Department meeting, co-chaired by Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry and Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Rose Gottemoeller, Pakistan “stressed the need for access to peaceful nuclear technology as a socioeconomic imperative.”
“The delegations reaffirmed the high importance that both countries attach to preventing the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and their means of delivery to states as well as non-state actors.”
“Both sides recognised their shared interest in strategic stability in the region,” the statement said amid Islamabad’s calls emphasising the need for maintaining strategic stability in South Asia vis-à-vis Pakistan and India.
The United States welcomed Prime Minister Sharif’s 2014 statement to the United Nations General Assembly in which he noted that, to promote stability, Pakistan is prepared to explore new confidence building measures.
“Reaffirming that statement of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan reiterated its longstanding proposal of pursuing nuclear restraint, conventional equilibrium and conflict resolution in South Asia,” the statement said.
Pakistan also reiterated its commitment to Credible Minimum Deterrence and to pursue measures in the region aimed at building confidence and lessening the risk of armed conflict.
“The United States and Pakistan emphasised the importance of meaningful dialogue and progress in this area and expressed the hope for lasting peace in South Asia and the resolution of outstanding territorial and other disputes through peaceful means,” the statement said.
The delegations discussed international efforts aimed at improving nuclear security with a central role of IAEA including through the high level focus by the Nuclear Security Summit process and the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism. In this context, both countries expressed their desire to see the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit result in a strengthened nuclear security architecture. Accordingly, both countries aspired to ratify the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material in accordance with national laws and procedures.
“The United States expressed full confidence in Pakistan’s indigenous efforts to strengthen nuclear security, and welcomed Pakistan’s efforts to strengthen export controls and border security including through ongoing efforts for installation of radiation portal monitors at border crossings, as well as Pakistan’s hosting of IAEA training activities at its Nuclear Security Centre of Excellence,” read the statement.
The Pakistan delegation welcomed the understanding reached between the Islamic Republic of Iran and P5+1 on April 2, 2015, underscored the importance of resolving the nuclear issue peacefully, and expressed its earnest hope that the parties concerned will be able to finalise a comprehensive settlement.