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

    Greenpeace Leak: US-EU Trade Deal Would Favor Corporations

    Activist group leaks classified documents to 'shine a light' on talks that could create the world's largest bilateral trade and investment pact

    Video Ethiopia's Drought Takes Toll on Children

    East African country’s crops failed in 2015, creating food shortages for 10 million – including 6 million children whose development may be compromised

    What Your First Name Reveals About Who You Vote For

    People named Chad are more likely to be Republicans and Jonathans are usually Democrats

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora