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A meeting was held between Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir and Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan at the Foreign Office today. They discussed ways and means to strengthen Pakistan-US Strategic Dialogue which has been upgraded to the Ministerial level.

The Foreign Secretary stressed that Pakistan-US relations should be built on solid foundations, independent of regional and global developments. In this regard, Pakistan welcomed President Barack Obama’s statement to strengthen Pakistan-US relations on the basis of mutual interest, mutual respect and mutual trust.

Foreign Secretary Bashir also handed over a concept paper on the Pakistan-US Strategic Dialogue proposing engagement at the Ministerial, Foreign Secretary and Sectoral levels. The dialogue would have two parts, namely, (i) bilateral relations, and (ii) exchange of views on regional and global issues.

The Special Representative appreciated the concept paper and agreed, in principle, with its objectives and structural aspects.

The first meeting of the US Strategic Dialogue at the Ministerial level is expected to take place in Washington D.C. during the first quarter of this year.

13 January 2010

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