Military

Washington File

24 June 2003

Bush-Musharraf Talks Focus on Security and Economic Expansion

(Leaders announce U.S., Pakistan will sign trade and investment pact)
(3030)
President Bush praised Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf as a
"courageous leader and friend of the United States," as the two
leaders emerged from their June 24 discussions at the presidential
retreat at Camp David, Maryland.
"President Musharraf has set out on an important mission," Bush told
reporters. "He's working to build a modern Pakistan that is tolerant
and prosperous."
In support of that effort, both leaders announced that the United
States and Pakistan will sign a trade and investment framework
agreement (TIFA), which could lead to a free trade agreement between
the two countries.
Bush also said he would ask the U.S. Congress to approve a security
and economic assistance package for Pakistan totaling $3 billion.
The president thanked Musharraf for Pakistan's support in dislodging
al Qaeda and the Taliban from Afghanistan. The two leaders noted the
continued need to work together to combat extremist elements in the
region.
"We have cooperated closely in the global fight against terrorism and
we stand determined to rid the world of this menace." President
Musharraf told reporters.
"We abhor terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. There is no
cause that can be justified or promoted through terrorist acts," he
said.
Questioned by reporters about tensions between India and Pakistan,
Bush said, "We all must work together to fight off terrorists who
would like to prevent a peaceful solution. There needs to be a hundred
percent effort on all parties' side; every party involved with this
issue must focus on not allowing a few to undermine the hopes of
many."
"The friendship between the United States and Pakistan is vital to the
security and stability of South Asia. I'm encouraged by the progress
President Musharraf and Indian Prime Minister ((Atal Bihari) Vajpayee
may have made in easing tensions between Pakistan and India. I'm
hopeful that the two countries will deepen their engagement on all
issues, including Kashmir," Bush said.
Following is a transcript of the remarks of President Bush and
Pakistan's President Musharraf at Camp David, June 24.
(begin transcript)
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
June 24, 2003
REMARKS BY PRESIDENT BUSH AND PRESIDENT MUSHARRAF OF PAKISTAN IN PRESS
AVAILABILITY
Camp David
PRESIDENT BUSH: Good day, Mr. President. Thank you so much for coming.
Laura and I are honored that you and Mrs. Musharraf are joining us
here at Camp David.
President Musharraf is a courageous leader and a friend of the United
States. America has a strong relationship with Pakistan, and we have
benefited from the industry and the talents of Pakistani Americans.
Today, our two nations are working together closely on common
challenges. Both the United States and Pakistan are threatened by
global terror, and we're determined to defeat it. Pakistan's support
was essential in our campaign against the Taliban.
Since September 11th attacks, Pakistan has apprehended more than 500
al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists -- thanks to the effective border
security measures and law enforcement cooperation throughout the
country, and thanks to the leadership of President Musharraf.
Today, both our countries are working with the Afghan government to
build a stable democratic Afghanistan with secure border regions that
are free from terror and free from extremism. Pakistan and the United
States also share a determination to bring the security -- the
benefits of security and freedom to the people of Iraq. And I look
forward to working with President Musharraf on this critical goal.
The friendship between the United States and Pakistan is vital to the
security and stability of South Asia. I'm encouraged by the progress
President Musharraf and Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee may have made
in easing tensions between Pakistan and India. I'm hopeful that the
two countries will deepen their engagement on all issues, including
Kashmir.
In our meeting we discussed the need to address extremism and
cross-border infiltration, and I assured the President that the United
States will do all we can to promote peace. President Musharraf has
set out on an important mission. He's working to build a modern
Pakistan that is tolerant and prosperous. Achieving this vision of
moderation and progress will require movement toward democracy in
Pakistan. The United States currently provides over $31 million for
initiatives in Pakistan, aimed at broadening political participation
and expanding educational opportunities, especially for women and
girls.
Greater economic development is also critical to fulfilling the hopes
of the Pakistani people. Since we met last year, the United States has
cancelled $1 billion of debt Pakistan owed our country. And today I'm
pleased to announce that our nations are signing a trade and
investment framework agreement, which creates a formal structure for
expanding our economic partnership. In addition, I will work with the
United States Congress on a $3 billion assistance package to help
advance security and economic opportunity for Pakistan's citizens.
For more than 50 years, the United States and Pakistan have worked
together for the security and prosperity of South Asia. Today, we
reaffirm a friendship that has brought great benefits to our people.
Mr. President, I'm honored you are here.
PRESIDENT MUSHARRAF: Thank you. Thank you very much, Mr. President. I
am extremely grateful to President Bush for his gracious invitation to
me to visit the United States. I am particularly honored and touched
by his special gesture in arranging our meeting in Camp David.
This is my fourth visit to the United States, and, as always, the
United States hospitality has been warm and exemplary. This special
gesture by the President to come to Camp David and invite me here on a
Tuesday is certainly a typical example of his warmth and cordiality
towards me as a person and towards Pakistan.
We had wide-ranging and extensive discussions with President Bush in a
congenial and most informal ambiance. These discussions have been
highly productive, reflective of the very close and, indeed, special
relationship that Pakistan today enjoys with the United States.
We have talked not only about our bilateral ties and the immediate
situation prevailing in our region in South Asia, but have also
reflected upon and shared ideas of our common vision of a peaceful and
prosperous world. We have reviewed in depth with President Bush how to
strengthen and expand the Pakistan-U.S. bilateral relationship and to
give it greater depth and meaning.
Both sides have reaffirmed that our ties should be made more
broad-based and multifaceted and placed on a long-term and predictable
basis. The United States has accordingly agreed on a multi-year
economic and defense related package for Pakistan. This exemplifies
the U.S. commitment to remain involved with us for a long term. We
look forward to diverse programs of cooperation in the economic,
commercial, political and the defense sectors. We also expect greater
people-to-people contacts and close interaction between the
parliaments of the two countries to promote the cause of democracy.
As a result of this commitment, two important agreements will be
signed during my visit to the United States. One relates to the trade
and investment framework agreement, the TIFA, which would help move
towards an eventual free trade agreement, the FTA.
The other relates to an agreement on cooperation in the field of
science and technology, which would provide impetus to growth and
development. Our two countries have many common bonds and linkages.
Our relationship is of long-standing and in the interest of the people
of our two countries. We have cooperated closely in the global fight
against terrorism and we stand determined to rid the world of this
menace.
We abhor terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. There is no
cause that can be justified or promoted through terrorist acts. And
Pakistan is moving against terrorism in its own national interest.
We also believe that our relations with the United States are a factor
of stability in South Asia. We are grateful to the United States for
its constructive engagement in our region, and for its untiring
efforts in diffusing tension and bringing about a dialogue process
between Pakistan and India, aimed at the resolution of all outstanding
issues, including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir. President Bush
has assured me that he personally, and the United States, would remain
firmly engaged in South Asia towards the end of bringing peace and
harmony in the region.
We also reviewed the situation prevailing in Afghanistan. We
reiterated our firm support to the Bonn process, and to the government
of President Karzai, which needs to be strengthened. It is important
that the world community remains engaged in Afghanistan, and lives up
to its commitment towards the reconstruction and development of this
devastated country.
We also discussed a number of other important issues, such as the
situation in Iraq, and the Middle East peace process. I have -- I
would like to, in front of this gathering, extend a very warm
invitation to the President and Mrs. Laura Bush, may I say, to visit
Pakistan, and do us this honor, and give us this opportunity of
reciprocating the warmth and cordiality that myself and my wife always
receive very well when we visit United States.
PRESIDENT BUSH:  Thank you, Mr. President.
PRESIDENT MUSHARRAF:  Thank you very much.
PRESIDENT BUSH: We will take two questions from each side, and we'll
start with Tom Raum.
Q: For both Presidents, the war on terror that you're both engaged in,
there are two principles that are still at large. Could you tell us
anything about the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden? Is he back in
business in Pakistan? And what about Saddam Hussein? Is he back in
Iraq?
PRESIDENT BUSH: Well, let me start off. There's more than two
principles at large. There are terrorists who are -- still have
designs are destabilizing the Pakistan government, and are destroying
innocent life. You've named two. There are others around, too. And
we're just on the hunt. And we'll find them. It's a matter of time.
Thanks to President Musharraf's leadership, on the al Qaeda front
we've dismantled the chief operators of al Qaeda. If Osama bin Laden
is alive -- and the President can comment on that if he cares to --
but the people reporting to him, the chief operators, people like
Khalid Sheik Mohammed are no longer a threat to the United States or
Pakistan, for that matter.
As I said in my opening remarks, thanks to the leadership of this man
and his government, over 500 al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists are
detained, they're no longer a problem. So slowly but surely, we're
dismantling the networks. And we'll continue on the hunt, it doesn't
matter how long it takes. It could take a day or it could take a
month, it could take years. It doesn't matter how long it takes, Mr.
President, we will stay on the hunt. And we want to thank you for your
cooperation.
PRESIDENT MUSHARRAF: Thank you very much. All that I would like to say
is that in search of all the al Qaeda operatives who are non-Afghan,
non-Pakistani, pretty easy to identify, we have entered on the
Pakistani side an area known as the FATA, the Federally Administered
Tribal Areas, areas where the government never entered for over a
century. This is the first time that the Pakistan army and our civil
armed forces have entered this region. And we are in the process of
opening up this region.
Now, if at all any al Qaeda operative is hiding in this region, we are
after them. Now, whether Osama bin Laden is here or across the border,
your guess, sir, will be as good as mine. So I wouldn't like to
venture into a guess. But the possibility of his, maybe, shifting
sides on the border is very much there. But as I said, we are fully
inside the areas, which are treacherous areas. We have ingress there.
And there is no doubt in my mind that the military, with every passage
of time, will be able to locate any al Qaeda members hiding in this
area.
PRESIDENT BUSH:  Do you want to call on somebody from your press?
PRESIDENT MUSHARRAF:  Yes, indeed.  I think I'll take --
Q: Mr. President Bush. It's a very positive statement for bringing
peace into South Asia, which is already nuclearized, but during the 20
years of honeymoon period of India with Soviet Union, India is the one
who launched nuclear program, and insecure and a smaller Pakistan, in
search of its security, did the same thing. Now, when you are starting
a stable relationship with India, what kind of security concerns you
are going to address about the territorial integrity of Pakistan and
security concerns, because Pakistan is much smaller in the
conventional weapons, and that's why they have gone nuclear?
PRESIDENT BUSH: I think -- we've spent a lot of time on this subject,
not only today, but during previous meetings. I assured President
Musharraf that the United States wants to help toward achieving a
peaceful solution. What you've just described is the reason why there
needs to be a peaceful solution on this issue and other issues. Our
role will be to be a -- to aid the process forward. The decision
makers will be the Pakistani government and the Indian government.
Those are the governments that have to decide how to resolve this
issue, which is a -- which has been a thorn in both people's sides.
One thing is for certain, that we all must work together to fight off
terrorists who would like to prevent a peaceful solution. There needs
to be a hundred percent effort on all parties side; every party
involved with this issue must focus on not allowing a few to undermine
the hopes of many. And the President knows that I will remain engaged.
I have -- stand by, ready to help. But the truth of the matter is for
there to be a final agreement, it's going to require leadership from
both the Pakistani government and the Indian government.
Q:  May I have one more question?
PRESIDENT BUSH:  No, you can't.  Thank you.
Q: Mr. President, you mentioned you'd like to see a movement toward
democracy in --
PRESIDENT BUSH:  What now?
Q: You mentioned that you would like to see a movement toward
democracy in Pakistan. What would you like to see happen? There's a
report that he might dissolve the parliament there.
PRESIDENT BUSH: Well, the President and I talked about the reforms
that he's putting in place, and the democracy to which he is
committed. One of the things that he has done that is most impressive
for the long-term stability of Pakistan is to address education
reform. A good education system is one that is going to mean more
likely for any country, including ourselves, to be a freer country,
and a more democratic country.
And he is -- he's taking on the issue in a way that is a visionary and
strong. He's dealing with the Madrassahs in a way that is productive
and constructive. He is working on a national curriculum that will
focus on basic education. I'll let him describe his vision. But this
country is committed to democracy, and we're committed to freedom.
We're also committed to working with our partner to fight off the
influences of terrorism. And we've had no better partner in our fight
on terror than President Musharraf.
PRESIDENT MUSHARRAF: Thank you, Mr. President. I would like to say a
word on the previous question, also, and before I address your --
answer your question. Pakistan very clearly, obviously, is concerned,
any country is concerned about its security. Pakistan follows a
strategy of minimum deterrence. We are not into any arms race, but we
do maintain forces to ensure this strategy of minimum deterrence.
And that is what we will keep doing to guard our honor and dignity. We
have, as far as India is concerned, our sovereign equality to guard,
vis-a-vis, India. And this is what we pursue whenever we are talking
of any defense related issues.
Coming to your question, sir, about democracy, let me assure you it
may sound rather odd that I, being a military man, am talking of
democracy. But let me assure you that I am extremely concerned about
introducing sustainable democracy in Pakistan.
Over the last 50 years, five decades, we have had dysfunctional
democracy in Pakistan. And what I am doing, really, is to introduce
sustainable democracy. Let me assure you, all the constitution
changes, all the political restructuring that we have done is in line
with ensuring sustainable democracy in Pakistan. We will continue with
this process, to ensure that democracy is never derailed in Pakistan.
This is my assurance.
PRESIDENT BUSH:  Final question, that you'd like to call?
PRESIDENT MUSHARRAF:  -- yes, please.
Q: This is to President Bush. During the Indian Deputy Prime Minister
Advani's visit last week, there were press reports of his claiming to
have received assurances from your administration that Pakistan will
not be provided with F-16s. This contrasts sharply with the positive
relationship that Pakistan currently enjoys with the United States.
The Pakistani public sets great score by the F-16s. So, Mr. President,
should the Pakistani public believe Mr. Advani?
PRESIDENT BUSH:  Well, the --
PRESIDENT MUSHARRAF:  You are never going to escape this.
PRESIDENT BUSH: No, I know. (Laughter.) Let me just say -- first, let
me say, the President is not afraid to bring up the issue of F-16s. He
has been a strong advocate for the sale of F-16s to Pakistan. In the
package that we discussed, the five-year, $3 billion package, half of
that money goes for defense matters, of which the F-16 won't be a
part. Nevertheless, we want to work closely with our friend to make
sure that the package meets the needs of the Pakistan people.
Thank you very much, Mr. President.  We're honored you're here.
PRESIDENT MUSHARRAF:  Thank you.
PRESIDENT BUSH:  It's been a great meeting.
PRESIDENT MUSHARRAF:  Thank you, Mr. President.
(end transcript)
(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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