USIS Washington 
File 02 February 1999


(Talbott emphasizes US support for strengthening Pakistani economy)

Islamabad, Pakistan -- The United States and Pakistan issued a joint
statement following Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott's
meetings with Pakistan's Foreign Secretary, Shamshad Ahmad, February

Talbott emphasized US support for strengthening of the Pakistani
economy and for the current talks between Pakistan and India on
matters including Kashmir, the statement said.

Following is the text of the joint statement:

(Begin text)

Visit of Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott
Islamabad, February 2, 1999

The eighth round of Pakistan-U.S. dialogue on South Asian security and
non-proliferation was held on February 1-2, 1999. The respective
delegations were led by the Pakistan Foreign Secretary, Mr. Shamshad
Ahmad, and the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, Mr. Strobe Talbott. The
talks were held in a positive and constructive atmosphere.

Mr. Strobe Talbott also called on the Prime Minister and the Foreign

It was recalled that this round of talks was held following Prime
Minister Nawaz Sharif's visit to Washington last December which had
resulted in a reaffirmation of a desire by Pakistan and the U.S. to
build a strong broad-based relationship. In this context, Deputy
Secretary of State Talbott emphasized the continued U.S. support to
strengthen Pakistan's economy and the improvement of the climate for
larger trade and investment. Pakistan expressed appreciation for the
positive support extended by the United States for the IMF and World
Bank assistance packages for Pakistan.

The security situation in South Asia was reviewed particularly in the
context of the agenda of the talks. Both sides shared the view that
they should make further efforts for the promotion of durable peace
and stability in the region. The U.S. expressed its strong support for
the current talks between Pakistan and India, including on Kashmir.
Pakistan urged the U.S. to play a more active role towards the
solution of the Kashmir dispute.

The two sides considered further steps to advance the objectives of
the Pakistan-U.S. dialogue. They agreed to hold further expert level
meetings on export controls and strategic restraint in March/April.
The two sides agreed to remain in close touch during the negotiations
of FMCT (Fissile Materials Cut-off Treaty) in the Conference on
Disarmament. Pakistan reiterated its position on the CTBT
(Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty) as enunciated by Prime Minister Nawaz
Sharif in his address to the UNGA (United Nations General Assembly).

The two sides reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthen
Pakistan U.S. relations.

The next round of the dialogue will be held before the middle of the
year, with the dates and venue to be determined in consultation
between the two sides.

(End text)