News

USIS Washington 
File

23 February 1999

TEXT: STATE DEPARTMENT COMMENDS INDIAN, PAKISTAN MEETING IN LAHORE

(Prime Ministers committed to resolve issues, including Kashmir) (390)

Washington -- The Department of State "warmly welcomes" the successful
summit meeting of Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee and Pakistani Prime
Minister Sharif on Saturday and Sunday in Lahore, Pakistan," Deputy
Spokesman James Foley said February 23.

"We are pleased that they have discussed steps to address nuclear
concerns, including confidence building measures and methods to avoid
accidental conflict. We also commend the attention paid in the Lahore
declaration, issued at the end of the meeting, to improving the
quality of life of the people of India and Pakistan," Foley said.

"The success of the weekend's meeting demonstrates the ability of
Pakistan and India to work together to resolve their differences and
to look to the future, not to the past," he said.

Following is the text of Foley's statement:

(Begin text)

US DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman

February 23, 1999

STATEMENT BY JAMES D. FOLEY, DEPUTY SPOKESMAN

INDIA/PAKISTAN SUMMIT

The Department of State warmly welcomes the successful summit meeting
of the Indian and Pakistani prime ministers on Saturday and Sunday in
Lahore, Pakistan. Prime Ministers Vajpayee of India and Sharif of
Pakistan have committed their governments to intensify efforts to
resolve the issues that have divided their countries for too long,
including Kashmir.

We are pleased that they have discussed steps to address nuclear
concerns, including confidence building measures and methods to avoid
accidental conflict. We also commend the attention paid in the Lahore
declaration, issued at the end of the meeting, to improving the
quality of life of the people of India and Pakistan. The two leaders
clearly understand that economic growth and social progress are
central to the futures of their countries, as they are to all
countries around the world.

The success of the weekend's meeting demonstrates the ability of
Pakistan and India to work together to resolve their differences and
to look to the future, not to the past. While the United States and
the international community have encouraged them to resolve their
differences through face to face discussions at a senior level, the
decisions to take this courageous step were made by the two prime
ministers. They deserve the full credit for this successful meeting.

(End text)