News / Asia

Pakistani President to Meet Obama at White House

Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari (file photo)
Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari (file photo)

Multimedia

Audio

Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari will meet with President Barack Obama at the White House on Friday, talks expected to focus on the Pakistani government's efforts against extremist forces. The talks come as the U.S. is offering Pakistan additional military and intelligence support for that battle.

President Zardari's talks with Mr. Obama in the Oval Office come about a month after the Obama administration assessment of its Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy.

The unclassified version of that assessment called progress in the strategic partnership with Pakistan substantial but uneven, saying among other things that greater cooperation is required in denying safe heavens to extremist groups along the border with Afghanistan.

President Obama and his administration have focused particular effort on the U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue, involving high level contacts at numerous levels between officials and leaders from the two sides.

Speaking in December, Mr. Obama said the U.S. remains focused on disrupting, dismantling and defeating al-Qaida in both Afghanistan and Pakistan and preventing it from having the capacity to threaten the U.S. and allies in the future.

But while he praised Pakistani military offensives in the tribal regions, Mr. Obama said more needs to be done.

"Nevertheless, progress has not come fast enough," said the president.  "So, we will continue to insist to Pakistani leaders that terrorist safe havens within their borders must be dealt with.  At the same time, we need to support the economic and political development that is critical to Pakistan's future."

U.S. officials have stressed their view that Pakistan has finally fully recognized the threat it faces from extremist groups, what Defense Secretary Robert Gates referred to in December as a "syndicate of terror."

In December, Gates emphasized the importance of a democratic Pakistani government knowing that the U.S. commitment will be long term.

"The relationship that we have with them and the more confident that they are that we have a long term relationship in mind with Pakistan, then I think the more willing they are going to be to take action that serves both our interests," he said.

With the approval of the U.S. Congress, the United States dramatically increased aid to Pakistan in 2009 with a $7.5 billion multi-year year plan.  Additional development and other assistance has been added, including aid to help Pakistan deal with devastation from recent flooding.

President Zardari is in Washington to attend the memorial service for Richard Holbrooke, President Obama's Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, who died in December at the age of 69.

Both that memorial, as well as President Obama's talks with the Pakistani president are closed to press coverage, though the White House is expected to issue some sort of readout on the Oval Office talks.

The talks come just two days after U.S. Vice President Joe Biden visited Islamabad and met with President Zardari and other leaders.

Mr. Biden, in trying to dispel misconceptions in Pakistan about the U.S. role, said the United States is not waging a war on Pakistan but fighting violent extremists who, in Biden's words, violate Pakistan's sovereignty and corrupt its good name."

In December, President Obama has said he looks forward to visiting Pakistan this year.  But a White House official told VOA that the Obama-Zardari talks on Friday will not produce a date for such a visit.

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid