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).
Ayesha Tanzeem

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

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid