The Obama Administration today welcomed the Japanese announcement of USD six billion financial aid to Pakistan and Afghanistan, including $5 billion to the latter.

“We welcome the announcement by the Government of Japan to provide approximately $5 billion over the next five years to Afghanistan and to implement swiftly its April 2009 pledge of $1 billion for economic assistance to Pakistan,” White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said.

In a statement issued on the eve of the departure of President Barack Obama for Japan, Mr. Gibbs said the US appreciates all that Japan has done to assist in the stabilisation and reconstruction of Afghanistan and welcomes Japan’s renewed commitment to development assistance for this international effort.

“Japan is among the largest bilateral donors in foreign assistance to Pakistan and Afghanistan, reflecting Japan’s crucial leadership in the region and around the globe,” he said.

“As President Obama prepares to travel to Japan this week, he looks forward to renewing our strong alliance with Japan, and discussing our continued partnership on Afghanistan, Pakistan, and critical bilateral issues,” Mr. Gibbs said.

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