News / USA

White House Reiterates Support for Pakistan, Afghanistan

US and NATO fuel trucks burning in Shikarpur, southern Pakistan, 01 Oct 2010
US and NATO fuel trucks burning in Shikarpur, southern Pakistan, 01 Oct 2010

The White House says President Barack Obama still considers Pakistan a strong ally in the fight against extremist forces.  Comments by Mr. Obama's press secretary, Robert Gibbs, came Monday as the United States and Pakistan continued to discuss the closure of a key border crossing and amid concern about attacks on NATO supply convoys.

At a White House news briefing, Gibbs was asked about the attacks on NATO fuel tanker trucks, four of which occurred since Pakistan closed the northwestern Khyber Pass Torkhum border crossing last week.

The attacks followed what NATO says was a self-defense hot-pursuit action by helicopters.  NATO expressed regret over the deaths of three Pakistani soldiers; a joint investigation is continuing.

Gibbs said it is his understanding that concerns relating to the border closure were the subject of discussions at the State Department between U.S. and Pakistani diplomats, adding that those talks were close to producing some results.

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for Monday's attack on 20 tankers carrying fuel for NATO troops in Afghanistan, calling it a response to U.S. drone strikes.  Pakistani officials say one such strike killed eight militants, including some that officials describe as German nationals.  The United States does not confirm drone strikes, which Pakistan says is a violation of its sovereignty.

Although he declined to comment on the latest suspected U.S. drone attack, Press Secretary Gibbs responded this way when asked whether the U.S. still believes that Pakistan and Afghanistan are strong allies in the fight against the Taliban and al-Qaida.

"We have strong and important partnerships with Afghanistan [and] in Pakistan - a strong ally in common pursuits to address extremism and the threat that it poses," said Robert Gibbs.

As when asked previously about the U.S. view of Pakistani cooperation, Gibbs cited what he called the renewed effort that Pakistan has made in recent years to address the extremist threat - one that affects Pakistan and the United States.

Gibbs was also asked whether the Obama administration believes a majority of Americans support the sacrifices the United States is making in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

"I think that the American people understand very much what is at stake and the important mission that we have over there," he said. "Obviously, there are political viewpoints that vary across the spectrum.  The president, though, understands what we must do in addressing the threat to those countries and to us."

At the State Department, spokesman P. J. Crowley told reporters that the United States is "quite satisfied" with the level of cooperation and the coordination it has with Pakistan.  He echoed Gibbs's comments about Pakistan's recognition of the threat that extremists pose to its stability.

On the question of the closure of the major border crossing, Crowley stressed that the United States and NATO have multiple supply routes into Afghanistan, and he said the flow of materiel continues.   

You May Like

Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, No voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve and do not want to take a risk by endorsing independence More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country 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.
NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Spacei
X
September 17, 2014 4:20 AM
The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid