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Obama Takes Nawaz Sharif into Confidence on Coming India Visit

Posted by on Saturday, November 22, 2014, 10:38
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US President Barack Obama Friday telephoned Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to give him heads-up on his upcoming trip to India, media reported.

Barack Obama - Nawaz Sharif

Barack Obama – Nawaz Sharif

“President Obama and Prime Minister Sharif reaffirmed the valued relationship between the two countries and the importance of the US-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue as a framework for guiding the bilateral relationship,”ย  White House press aide Eric Schultz said.

The Prime Minister’s Office said that President Obama informed Sharif of his forthcoming visit to India in January.

The US leader has been invited by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to attend India’s republic Day Parade as the Chief Guest.

During the call, Sharif recalled an invitation he extended to Obama last year in Washington and conveyed the expectation of the people of Pakistan to welcome the US President to the country some time in the future.

“President Obama also assured Sharif that he would undertake a visit to Pakistan at an early date, as soon as the situation normalizes in the country,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

Sharif also urged President Obama to take up the Kashmir issue with the Indian leadership, stating that its early resolution would bring enduring peace, stability and economic cooperation to Asia, it said.

Talking to US president on the telephone, Sharif did refer to his visit to India earlier this year to take relations forward.

Sharif also told Obama that India subsequently took “unfortunate steps, including cancellation of Foreign Secretary-level talks” and “firing across the LoC resulting in civilian casualties” which showed that “India was averse to normalization of relations with Pakistan.”

Sharif said Pakistan “remains open to the resumption of bilateral dialogue and the onus is on India to create a favorable environment in this regard.”

“President Obama expressed his understanding for our position,” the statement said.

The call follows recent skirmishes between Pakistani and Indian troops in disputed Kashmir, which both countries administer in part but both claim in full.

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