Kerry meets with Pakistani Prime Minister Sharif in Washington
Sunday, October 20, 2013 - 01:08
Oct. 20 - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the State Department in Washington. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has met with Pakistani Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif. Sharif arrived in Washington on Sunday for a four-day visit. He is scheduled to meet with President Barack Obama on Wednesday. He is also expected to meet with a several members of Congress.
While posing for photographers, Kerry emphasized the importance of the U.S.-Pakistan relationship.
"We're very anxious to have a series of high level, important discussions over the course of the next few days. The vice-president, the president, tonight's dinner. We have a lot to talk about and the relationship with Pakistan could not be more important. On its own, a democracy that is working hard to get its economy moving and deal with insurgency and also important to the regional stability too, we're very happy to have you here Mr. Prime Minister, I look forward to the conversations," Kerry said.
Relations between the U.S. and Pakistan remain tense on major issues, including Pakistani opposition to U.S. drone strikes and Washington's complaints about the ties of the Pakistani intelligence service to militant groups active in Afghanistan.
But the bonds appear to be on the mend after a series of major setbacks in recent years, including the 2011 U.S. raid on Pakistani territory that killed al Qaeda chief, Osama bin Laden, as well as another 2011 incident in which a CIA contractor killed two men on the streets of Lahore.
For fiscal year 2014, which began on October 1, Obama has requested $1.162 billion for Pakistan, including $857 million in civilian assistance and $305 million in security assistance, according to the U.S. State Department.
Much of security aid to Pakistan is intended to bolster the ability of its military to counter militants in the country's semi-autonomous tribal areas.
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