Notice to the Press
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
April 15, 2010


Deputy Secretary of State Jacob Lew and USAID Administrator Raj Shah will brief the press on their recent respective trips to Afghanistan and Pakistan on Friday, April 16, 2010 at 1:00 p.m. in the Carl T. Rowan Press Briefing Room (Room 2209) of the Department of State.

Ensuring the stability and prosperity of both Afghanistan and Pakistan is one of the United States’ highest priorities. As both President Obama and Secretary Clinton have said, diplomatic and development efforts - coordinated in our whole-of-government approach - are as critical to this mission as military efforts.

Deputy Secretary Lew met with a range of Pakistani and Afghan officials to discuss economic development, security, and rule of law issues, among other matters. He also spent significant time meeting with Embassy leadership to discuss resource needs and progress in implementing critical U.S. assistance programs. In Pakistan, Lew built on discussions from the recent U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue, focusing on Pakistani economic reform and market access, hosted a dinner to discuss Pakistan’s energy needs with key industry leaders, and met with civil society representatives to discuss the impact of economic reform on Pakistani citizens. In Afghanistan, he toured the new site of the U.S. Consulate in Herat, spoke at the second annual Marble Conference, traveled to Marjah, in Helmand Province, and participated in productive discussions -- part of the Rehearsal of Concept (ROC) Drill -- with U.S., Afghan and international partners on focusing resources most effectively.

This was Dr. Shah's first trip to the region as USAID Administrator. In Afghanistan, he visited agriculture and vocational training projects, met with President Karzai, and signed a significant agreement with the Afghan Government to work on development and governance in key districts. In Pakistan, he looked at USAID education projects, spoke with civil society leaders, met with President Zardari, participated in follow-up discussions on the recent U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue and met with government officials and civil society leaders to underscore the U.S. commitment to a longer-term development relationship.

This event is open to the press.

Press should use the 23rd Street entrance of the Department of State.

Media representatives may attend this event upon presentation of one of the following: (1) a U.S. Government-issued identification card (Department of State, White House, Congress, Department of Defense or Foreign Press Center), (2) a media-issued photo identification card, or (3) a letter from their employer on letterhead verifying their employment as a journalist, accompanied by an official photo identification card (driver's license, passport).


PRESS CONTACTS:

Office of Press Relations
U.S. Department of State
(202) 647-2492

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PRN: 2010/461