Obama assures Pakistan help in terror war, may meet Zardari

November 8th, 2008 - 2:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaIslamabad, Nov 8 (IANS) US President-elect Barack Obama called Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari Saturday morning and assured him that his administration would take Islamabad along in all decisions regarding the war on terror. Zardari is likely to meet Obama during his trip to the US next week.Obama called Zardari to thank him for the warm wishes from Pakistan on his election, a senior government official told IANS.

The call lasted for over 20 minutes during which Obama assured that the US would take Pakistan along in all decisions regarding the war on terror.

The US President-elect said both Pakistan and the US share long lasting friendship and hoped to eradicate terrorism from the region with Islamabad’s support.

He also said that the US longed to establish better mutual relationship between the allies on the war on terror and settle differences in the aftermath of the US strikes in Pakistan.

Zardari is likely to meet Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden during his trip to the US next week to attend an inter-faith conference, the official said.

“Though the meting is not scheduled, there are strong indications that President Zardari will meet Obama in New York during his visit,” said the official. He said that Pakistan expects a “positive” response from the new US administration.

Zardari is scheduled to fly to New York Nov 11 and return Nov 14, but “the president may extend his visit to meet the new US leadership”, said the official.

Pakistan Information Minister Sherry Rehman in a statement said that Obama’s victory is inspiring for the proponents of democracy and reinforces their firm belief in democracy’s power to bring about a definitive change in leadership and policy through genuine participatory processes.

In a statement issued here, she said the influence of the United States on shaping global ideas on politics and economics is a testament of the American leadership and its vision.

“President-elect Obama’s campaign slogan for ‘change’ has created a new set of global expectations about the US, which will be a major challenge for its new administration,” she said.

Rehman pointed out that vice president-elect Joe Biden is the architect of the Biden-Lugar legislation that commits development assistance of $15 billion for Pakistan over the next 10 years.

“This non-military aid signals a major shift in the focus of US assistance for Pakistan,” the minister said, adding that this “reflects the newly elected US administration’s support for our country’s civilian democratic order, and an understanding of the necessity of building solid foundations for social and economic development of Pakistan”.

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