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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release February 22, 1999


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.