Obama, Pakistani president discuss terrorism (Lead)

February 12th, 2009 - 11:22 am ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaWashington, Feb 12 (DPA) US President Barack Obama has spoken with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari about the effort between the two countries to combat terrorism.
Obama’s phone call with Zardari came as his special envoy, ambassador Richard Holbrooke, completed a visit to the country Wednesday to explore ways by which Washington and Islamabad can improve coordination and help quash the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan.

The US and NATO mission in Afghanistan has been frustrated by cross-border raids by Taliban militants who take refuge in Pakistan’s ungovernable tribal region.

“In line with ambassador Holbrooke’s mission, both leaders agreed to work together to advance peace and prosperity in Pakistan and the region,” the White House said in a statement.

“The two leaders agreed on the importance of maintaining a strong bilateral relationship to address issues of common interest, such as counterterrorism and economic development,” the statement said.

Obama named Holbrooke as his special envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan. On Tuesday, the veteran diplomat met Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. Holbrooke is expected to travel on to Afghanistan and India.

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