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Clinton: Pakistan should pass reforms to ensure flood victim support

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Clinton is meeting with EU, NATO representatives in Brussels
  • She says wealthy Pakistanis should do their part to help flood victims

(CNN) -- Pakistan must implement economic reforms in order to ensure victims of catastrophic flooding receive support, and wealthy Pakistanis should be doing their part, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday.

"The international community can only do so much," said Clinton, who is in Brussels, Belgium, meeting with officials including EU High Representative Baroness Catherine Ashton. "Pakistan itself must take immediate and substantial action to mobilize its own resources and in particular to reform its economy.

"The most important step that Pakistan can take is to pass meaningful reforms that will expand its tax base," Clinton said. "The government must require that the economically affluent and elite in Pakistan support the government and people of Pakistan."

"It is absolutely unacceptable for those with means in Pakistan not to be doing their fair share to help their own people while the taxpayers in Europe, the United States and other contributing countries are all chipping in to do our part," she said.

Clinton is in Brussels meeting with EU and NATO officials, and also with U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates. She also met with EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy. After the EU meetings, Clinton will meet with Gates for a joint NATO gathering comprised of NATO members' foreign and defense ministers to focus on the new "Strategic Concept" and on the war in Afghanistan.

Clinton landed in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on Monday and made a diplomatic swing through Bosnia, Serbia and Kosovo before traveling to Brussels. Her agenda focused on the U.S. commitment to all Balkan states joining the EU and the goal of NATO membership for Bosnia, Assistant Secretary of State Philip H. Gordon said in a briefing before Clinton's departure.