| SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt
SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt President George W. Bush and Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Sunday pledged to fight terrorism with strong relations between the two nations in the aftermath of elections that seated new leaders in Islamabad.
Bush met Gilani for the first time at this Red Sea resort in a series of bilateral meetings he is holding at the end of a trip to the Middle East focused on advancing the Palestinian-Israeli peace process.
Bush said they spoke about a "common desire to protect ourselves and others from those who would do harm" and he thanked Gilani for his steadfast support.
The United States considers Pakistan a key ally in fighting terrorism as U.S. forces hunt for al Qaeda leaders and Taliban militants along the rugged Pakistani-Afghanistan border.
Suspicions that a U.S. drone fired missiles on a house in the Pakistani village of Damadola along the Afghan border angered residents of that area, and was condemned by Gilani last week.
Eighteen people including foreign militants were killed when two missiles hit a house in the Bajaur tribal region, where Islamist militants are believed to operate.
Asked whether the missile strike had been discussed, Gilani said "yes," while Bush did not comment.
Gilani, standing next to Bush outside his hotel villa, said terrorism and extremism were "the biggest threat to the world" and pledged that his government was committed to fighting it.
"I have lost my own great leader Benazir Bhutto because of terrorism," Gilani said. Bhutto was killed while running for office in Pakistan.
The United States is seeking to cement relations with the new government leaders in Pakistan.
"I appreciate the fact that you're committed to working to make sure that relations between the United States and Pakistan are strong and vibrant and productive," Bush said.
"Relations are good between our two countries and they will continue to be good," he said.
Bush and Gilani said they also discussed high food prices, energy issues, and economic cooperation.
(Editing by London World Desk, Peter Millership)