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

French Refugee Drama Wins Cannes Top Prize

Dheepan is about a group of Sri Lankan refugees who pretend to be a family in order to flee their war-torn country for a housing project in France More

Photogallery Crisis in Macedonia Requires Meaningful and Swift Measures

The international community has called on Macedonian leadership to take concrete measures in support of democracy in order to exit the crisis More

Activists: IS Executes 217 Civilians, Soldiers Near Palmyra

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Sunday said the victims include nurses, women, children and Syrian government fighters 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.
Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmakingi
X
Bernard Shusman
May 24, 2015 2:55 PM
According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.
Video

Video Effort Underway to Limit Damage from California Oil Spill

Cleanup crews are working around the clock to remove oil from the waters off the coastal city of Santa Barbara, in California. About 380,000 liters of oil may have leaked out before a rupture in an onshore, underground pipeline was discovered Tuesday. The environmental disaster hit the popular West Coast resort area before the Memorial Day weekend. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports investigators have yet to determine what caused the incident.

VOA Blogs