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Rediff.com  » News » Obama to co-chair Friends of Pakistan forum meet

Obama to co-chair Friends of Pakistan forum meet

September 18, 2009 14:56 IST

While the US continues to give millions in financial aid to Pakistan to fight terror, it has also invited over 20 countries and five financial institutions to participate in the the Friends of Democratic Pakistan forum for the sake of Pakistan's better future.

A year after Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari launched the FoDP forum to harness support for Pakistan, the members will meet again on September 24 in New York to mark the group's first anniversary.

The summit-level meeting is aimed at gathering continued support from international countries and financial institutions in view of the recent terror crisis faced by the South Asian country. It will be co-chaired by US President Barack Obama along with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari.

"While Pakistan remains committed to eliminating the menace of terrorism and is determined to become an anchor of peace and stability, it needs the moral, material and political support of its friends and allies," said an official document released by the US government on Thursday.

"While Pakistan remains committed to eliminating the menace of terrorism and is determined to become an anchor of peace and stability, it needs the moral, material and political support of its friends and allies," the document read.

"Only an economically, politically and militarily strong and stable Pakistan can combat the menace of terrorism and extremism in an effective manner."

The FoDP group comprises 20 countries, prominent among them being the UK, the US, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Turkey.

The FoDP had met at the ministerial level in April this year in Tokyo, Japan, where the participating countries pledged $5.2 billion to Pakistan. Following this, another ministerial meeting was held in Istanbul on August 25, where the FoDP members decided to continue their support to help Pakistan rebuild its infrastructure, rehabilitate the citizens, and to fight terrorism.

Justifying the urgent need, the official US document has said that Pakistan has lost million of lives and incurred losses amounting to $35 billion since 2001

Meanwhile, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has also appealed to the international community to help Pakistan in all ways as it was fighting a war on terrorism. Moon said this at a press conference held to start the 64th session of the General Assembly.
The Rediff News Bureau