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

TEXT SIZE - +
— 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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid