Zardari welcomes new US plan for Afghanistan, Pakistan (Lead)

March 28th, 2009 - 12:37 am ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Islamabad, March 27 (Xinhua) Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari Friday welcomed the new US strategy for Pakistan and Afghanistan outlined by President Barack Obama.
“Pakistan has always held the Pakistan-US relations in high esteem and his announcements during speech on new strategy on Afghanistan and Pakistan will further cement these ties,” Zardari said in a statement.

He said that the creation of Reconstruction Opportunity Zones (ROZs) in tribal areas with the US help “will create an enabling environment for the people distressed for a long time by terrorism and extremism”.

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani also welcomed the new US plan, saying the new US policy is based on regional approach.

Unveiling a new US strategy to defeat Taliban and Al Qaeda, US President Barack Obama Friday said that Al Qaeda was actively planning attacks on the United States from safe havens inside Pakistan.

Obama said that Pakistan must be a “stronger partner” in destroying Al Qaeda’s safe havens and said that Pakistan would be provided assistance of $1.5 billion each year for the next five years.

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