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Obama Reaffirms Commitment to Pakistan

One thing unlikely to change as the result of President Obama’s review of Afghanistan strategy is the administration’s perspectives on Pakistan. As the Senate passed a $7.5 billion civilian-aid bill for Pakistan, the president co-chaired a meeting in New York of the aid-n-support network known as the Friends of a Democratic Pakistan. From his prepared remarks:

We also face a common threat. The violent extremists within Pakistan pose a threat to the region, to the United States, and to the world. Above all, they threaten the security of the Pakistani people. But whereas these extremists murder innocent men, women and children – and offer the people of Pakistan people nothing but destruction – we are here on behalf of a more hopeful future. We believe that hope can triumph over fear, and that adversity can be replaced by opportunity.

Success will require a sustained and expanded commitment from the international community. And that is why we are here today. Through the Friends of Democratic Pakistan – and through our bilateral relationship – the United States is firmly committed to the future that the Pakistani people deserve – a future that will advance our common security and prosperity. That is why my Administration has pledged substantial support for Pakistan, and the U.S. Congress has worked aggressively and effectively to expand development and economic assistance.

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