News

USIS Washington 
File

23 February 1999

TEXT: CLINTON WELCOMES MEETING BETWEEN VAJPAYEE AND SHARIF

(US will work with India, Pakistan to promote progress in region)
(290)

Washington -- President Clinton commended Indian Prime Minister
Vajpayee and Pakistani Prime Minister Sharif "for demonstrating
courage and leadership by coming together and addressing difficult
issues that have long divided their countries."

In a meeting this past weekend, "the two leaders committed to
intensifying their efforts on key matters ... South Asia -- and,
indeed, the entire world -- will benefit if India and Pakistan
promptly turn these commitments into concrete progress," the President
said February 22.

"We will continue our own efforts to work with India and Pakistan to
promote progress in the region," Clinton said.

Following is the White House text of Clinton's statement:

(Begin text)

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary

February 22, 1999

STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

I welcome the successful meeting over the weekend between Indian Prime
Minister Vajpayee and Pakistani Prime Minister Sharif. I commend the
two prime ministers for demonstrating courage and leadership by coming
together and addressing difficult issues that have long divided their
countries.

The two leaders committed to intensifying their efforts on key
matters, including: containing their competition in nuclear arms;
preventing nuclear or conventional conflict between them; resolving
territorial disputes including Jammu and Kashmir; refraining from
interference in each other's internal affairs; fighting terrorism;
promoting political freedom and human rights; and working together to
improve the lives of their citizens through economic growth.

South Asia -- and, indeed, the entire world -- will benefit if India
and Pakistan promptly turn these commitments into concrete progress.
We will continue our own efforts to work with India and Pakistan to
promote progress in the region.

(End text)