News / Asia

No Meeting With Obama for Pakistan's President

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari (file photo).Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari (file photo).
x
Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari (file photo).
Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari (file photo).

CHICAGO - Hopes for a meeting on the sidelines of the NATO summit bringing together the U.S., Afghan and Pakistani presidents appear to have dimmed, and analysts say this is due to the lack of a full agreement with Pakistan on reopening NATO supply lines into Afghanistan.  

 

President Barack Obama met on Sunday in Chicago with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, but his schedule includes no one-on-one interaction with Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari, and White House staff say the schedule is not expected to change. 

 

Both U.S. and Pakistani officials were pushing for a trilateral meeting, with the main roadblock to such talks being the drawn-out dispute that has curtailed NATO's ability to supply coalition forces fighting in Afghanistan. 

 

Pakistan shut down the transit corridors that NATO used for supply convoys last November, after U.S. airstrikes that mistakenly killed 24 Pakistani troops stationed near the Afghan border.  The cross-border attack and its aftermath brought U.S.-Pakistan relations to a new low.

 

Pakistan’s prime minister indicated last week that progress had been made in negotiations with U.S. officials about reopening the supply routes, and he predicted an agreement would be complete “very soon.” NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen then called President Zardari to invite him to the Chicago summit.

 

Some South Asia experts suggest that while NATO's invitation to the president of Pakistan was unconditional, any interaction with the U.S. president might not have been so. 

 

President Zardari did meet with President Karzai and with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Chicago, about Pakistan’s role in regional peace and the end stages of NATO's involvement in Afghanistan. 

 

The meeting between Mr. Zardari and Clinton lasted for over an hour. Others present included Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, Pakistan’s ambassador to the U.S., Sherry Rehman, the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, Cameron Munter, and the U.S. government's special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Marc Grossman. 

 

Grossman told VOA the meeting included “a complete review of all of our bilateral partnerships.” He added that the purpose was to focus on “how to move forward in this relationship.”

 

The senior U.S. envoy said the talks on Sunday will help with the ongoing negotiations over the NATO supply routes, and he played down the significance of the Obama-Karzai-Zardari meeting that did not take place, saying it would be "better" for Afghanistan and Pakistan to hold direct bilateral talks.  

 

Meanwhile, the meeting between Presidents Zardari and Karzai resulted in a decision to extend the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement to countries in Central Asia. 

You May Like

French Refugee Drama Wins Cannes Top Prize

Dheepan is about a group of Sri Lankan refugees who pretend to be a family in order to flee their war-torn country for a housing project in France More

Photogallery Crisis in Macedonia Requires Meaningful and Swift Measures

The international community has called on Macedonian leadership to take concrete measures in support of democracy in order to exit the crisis More

Activists: IS Executes 217 Civilians, Soldiers Near Palmyra

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Sunday said the victims include nurses, women, children and Syrian government fighters More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmakingi
X
Bernard Shusman
May 24, 2015 2:55 PM
According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.
Video

Video Effort Underway to Limit Damage from California Oil Spill

Cleanup crews are working around the clock to remove oil from the waters off the coastal city of Santa Barbara, in California. About 380,000 liters of oil may have leaked out before a rupture in an onshore, underground pipeline was discovered Tuesday. The environmental disaster hit the popular West Coast resort area before the Memorial Day weekend. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports investigators have yet to determine what caused the incident.

VOA Blogs