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Bush Meets Aziz

President George W. Bush recently met with Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz at the White House. Mr. Bush said that Pakistan is cooperating with the U.S. "on a variety of issues":

"We're working closely to defeat the terrorists who would like to harm America and harm Pakistan. We talked about the importance of trade and commerce and investment. And we also talked about the world response to the terrible tragedy [earthquake] that Pakistan has gone through. . . .and I was very pleased that the United States, our taxpayers, [and] our military could contribute to helping the people of Pakistan recover."

Prime Minister Aziz said Pakistan values its relationship with the U.S.:

"Let me at the outset say the assistance the United States has given to Pakistan – the Chinooks [helicopters], the MASH [Mobile Army Surgical Hospitals] hospitals, the engineers, and the financial assistance after the earthquake – has touched the hearts and minds of all Pakistanis."

Mr. Aziz said Pakistan wants peace with its neighbors:

"We want a solution of all disputes, including the Kashmir dispute. We want to see a strong, stable Afghanistan. We are against proliferation of nuclear weapons by anybody. And we want to fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. There is no good terrorist or bad terrorist, and terrorism no knows no borders. Our coalition with the United States in fighting terrorism is very important to all the world and all of civil society."

Prime Minister Aziz also met with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack says they reaffirmed the resolve of the U.S. and Pakistan to fight terrorism:

"Al Qaida and the Taleban are common enemies of Pakistan, the United States as well as other countries in the region, and we are determined in our efforts to stand together to ensure that there are no safe havens for al-Qaida, there are no safe havens for the Taleban."

President Bush says the U.S. relationship with Pakistan is vital "for keeping the peace."

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.