News / Asia

Obama, Sharif Discuss Drones, Extremism, Afghanistan

Obama, Sharif Discuss Drones, Extremism, Afghanistani
X
October 24, 2013 4:59 AM
At the White House, President Barack Obama and Pakistan's prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, have agreed on the importance of rebuilding the U.S.-Pakistan relationship. They discussed the issue of U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan, extremist threats, the transition in Afghanistan and Pakistan's relations with India.
Obama, Sharif Discuss Drones, Extremism, Afghanistan
At the White House, President Barack Obama and Pakistan's prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, have agreed on the importance of rebuilding the U.S.-Pakistan relationship.  They discussed the issue of U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan, extremist threats, the transition in Afghanistan and Pakistan's relations with India.

It was the first meeting between President Obama and Prime Minister Sharif, who was last at the White House in 1999, and came as both countries move to repair relations severely strained during Obama's first term.

The U.S. commando raid in Pakistan that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in 2011 contributed to tensions, along with a mistaken NATO raid on a Pakistani border post the same year.

Neither leader specifically mentioned these events in remarks.  President Obama called the peaceful democratic transition in Pakistan "an enormous milestone" and described Pakistan as a very important strategic partner.

"We believe that if Pakistan is secure and peaceful and prosperous, that is not only good for Pakistan, it is good for the region and it is good for the world, and we want to do everything we can to help the prime minister as he moves forward on a bold agenda to achieve that vision," said President Obama.

Related video report by VOA's Zlatica Hoke:

Sharif, Obama Meet at White Housei
X
October 24, 2013 1:40 AM
U.S. president, Pakistan's prime minister discuss wide range of issues. Zlatica Hoke has details.
The two leaders discussed counterterrorism cooperation and what Obama called shared concerns about "senseless violence and extremism" in Pakistan.

As he has done elsewhere in Washington, Prime Minister Sharif called for an end to drone strikes the United States has used to target al-Qaida and militant figures in Pakistan's tribal areas.

"Pakistan and the United States have a strong ongoing counterterrorism cooperation.  We have agreed to further strengthen this cooperation.  I also brought up the issue of drones in our meeting, emphasizing the need for an end to such strikes," said Prime Minister Sharif.

Obama made indirect reference to tensions that drone strikes have created in the bilateral relationship.

He said they agreed on the need to find constructive ways to partner together while respecting Pakistan's sovereignty.

"It is a challenge, it is not easy, and we committed to working together in making sure that rather than this being a source of tension between our two countries, that it can be a source of strength for us working together in a constructive and a respectful way," said Obama.

A joint statement released by the White House said Obama thanked the Pakistani leader for efforts to help defeat al-Qaida, adding they emphasized that no country’s territory should be used to destabilize its neighbors.

On Afghanistan, the two leaders discussed the scheduled withdrawal of foreign forces in 2014, upcoming elections there, and long-term plans for security.

OBAMA:  "I am confident that working together we can achieve a goal that is good for Afghanistan, but also helps to protect Pakistan over the long term."

SHARIF:  "Let there be no doubt about our commitment for a peaceful and stable Afghanistan.  This resolve remains unwavering."

The talks also covered steps under way by Pakistan and India, South Asia's two nuclear weapons states, to resolve longstanding tensions, including over the disputed region of Kashmir.

"Terrorism constitutes a common threat.  It is as much a concern to us as it is for India.  We need to allay our respective concerns through serious and sincere efforts without indulging in any blame game," said Sharif.

The Pakistani leader said he assured Obama that as "a responsible nuclear state, Pakistan will continue to act with maximum restraint and work toward strengthening strategic stability in South Asia."  

On U.S.-Pakistan relations, President Obama said despite what he said would inevitably be some tensions, he hoped goodwill between Americans and Pakistanis will help both countries make progress in their relations.

You May Like

Unpaid Kurdish Fighters Sign of Economic Woes

Sharp cuts in Kurdistan's budget by Baghdad, falling oil revenue, coping with refugees, inflated public sector have hit regional economy hard More

Koreas Exchange List of Envoys for Family Reunion Talks

Officials will discuss date, venue and number of participants for reunion; Seoul hopes to hold event late this month More

China Targets 197 in Online Speech Crackdown

Nearly 200 punished for 'spreading rumors' online in ongoing crackdown on free speech More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: SIMPLEJW from: Pakistan
October 24, 2013 12:50 AM
The pakistani prime minister seeminly has a lot on his plate.I dont think the US presidant sees all of it as appetizing.

by: Ahmar Mustikhan from: Washington DC area
October 23, 2013 8:03 PM
All civilian leaders in Pakistan are pretty decent. The big question here is whether Mr. Sharif will be able to convince the army to revise its strategic depth policy?

by: ali baba from: new york
October 23, 2013 1:54 PM
all Pakistan needs is money. money to cover up terrorist. money to provide safe heaven to Osama bin laden. money to tell liar and double standard

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 02, 2015 6:19 PM
Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.

VOA Blogs