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US would stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Pakistan: John Kerry

01 March, 2016

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WASHINGTON – US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday that the US would stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Pakistan in its brave fight against terrorism.

He said while appreciating Islamabad's support for efforts to promote reconciliation with Afghanistan. The US Secretary made these remarks at the start of the 6th Ministerial Review of Pak-US Strategic Dialogue Process to discuss a broad range of issues including economy, investment, education and energy cooperation.

Kerry said that the dialogue is a chance to reaffirm mutual commitment to a very strong bilateral, enduring relationship based on mutual respect and mutual interest. Referring to the last month's attack at the Bacha Khan University, he said that the United States condemns such heinous act and will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Pakistan and its people in their brave fight against violent extremism.

The US secretary observed that the terrorists were targeting educational institutions and students because they wanted to halt Pakistan's future and deprive the young people of the knowledge they need to compete in a global economy and build a strong and prosperous and free society.

He said that the Pakistani people have made it clear they will not be intimidated or denied the right to build a future of their own design. “In that effort, they can absolutely count on the continued friendship and support of the United States,” he added.

Kerry said that during nearly seven decades of friendship, bilateral ties have sometimes been strained but both nations always recovered as people of the two countries share a fundamental desire of stability, the hope for peace, and support for regional and global economic development.

On regional security, he said that the two countries were going to continue efforts to promote stability and defeat those who foment extremism and violence.”In this connection, the United States appreciates Pakistan's support for efforts to promote reconciliation with Afghanistan.”

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