Obama, Sharif reaffirm “enduring” US-Pakistani ties in Washington


The White House lauded Pakistan’s pledge to pursue terrorist groups of all ideologies, following a White House meeting Thursday between Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and US President Barack Obama.

“We’ve been very clear with the Pakistani government that in implementing that commitment, Pakistan must take action against all militant groups without discriminating,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz said.

Meeting in the Oval Office for the second time in two years, Sharif and Obama discussed counterterrorism and nuclear issues, as well as economic growth, trade, investment, clean energy, global health, and climate change, alongside ongoing security talks.

In a joint statement released after the meeting, the two leaders committed to an “enduring” partnership,” a “prosperous Pakistan, and a more stable region.”

A strong US-Pakistani relationship “is vital to regional and global peace and security,” the communique said, and the two countries agreed to continue to work together “to address evolving threats in South Asia.”

Since Sharif’s 2013 visit, the US and and Pakistan have “continued robust cooperation and trade and investment in energy and increasing business ties,” Schultz saId.

Pakistanis “have suffered greatly at the hands of terrorists and violent extremists,” Schultz said, praising Pakistan’s ongoing military effort against “terrorist sanctuaries” that have had “significant impact.”

The White House would not comment on recent reports that it was considering selling military jets to Pakistan while pursuing limits on Pakistan’s nuclear programme.

Pakistani officials downplayed speculation about US nuclear demands before the trip, denying that any deal was under discussion.

Earlier, Sharif held a breakfast meeting Thursday with Vice President Joe Biden at the Naval Observatory.

Accompanying Sharif at the White House meeting were Finance Minister Mohammad Ishaq Dar, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nissar, Defence Minister Khwaja Asif and the Foreign Affairs advisor Sartaj Aziz.