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AUSTRALIAN HIGH COMMISSION
Australia’s Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs
announce increased cooperation with Pakistan
Australia’s Prime Minister, the Hon Kevin Rudd MP and Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Stephen Smith MP announced an increase in Australia’s support for Pakistan, following the Friends of Democratic Pakistan Summit in New York on 25 September 2009.
The increased assistance includes:
- strengthening Pakistan's security and stability by doubling military training to the Pakistan Army to 140 places, which will make Australia the largest provider of overseas military training to Pakistan after the United States;
- establishing defence post-graduate scholarships;
- expanding strategic dialogue;
- establishing an Australia-Pakistan Development Partnership, focusing on health reform, reconstruction of the Malakand region, democratic governance and economic reform, as well as providing 100 agricultural scholarships; and
- holding regular meetings of the Australia-Pakistan Joint Trade Committee to support closer business links.
The Australian Government has significantly increased its engagement with Pakistan over the past twenty months, including through increased defence and law enforcement cooperation; doubling development assistance to $120 million over the next two years; contributing $23 million in humanitarian assistance since August 2008; and working actively to expand bilateral trade and investment.
The Friends of Democratic Pakistan Summit was a clear demonstration of the international community's commitment to Pakistan. Pakistan is one of the world's most strategically important countries.
Leaders reinforced their support for Pakistan's efforts against violent and militant extremism and endorsed plans for the reconstruction of the Malakand region. The Summit endorsed the establishment of a multi-donor trust fund for Pakistan's border areas, to be administered by the World Bank.
Contact: Mr Jon Bonnar – 051 835 5500
28 September 2009