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Obama Invites Sharif to White House

by AFP
Saul Loeb—AFP

Saul Loeb—AFP

White House statement says Pakistan’s P.M. has been invited to visit Washington on Oct. 22.

U.S. President Barack Obama has invited Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to visit Washington on Oct. 22, the White House said in a statement Sunday.

U.S. national security adviser Susan Rice, who extended the invitation when she met with Sharif in Islamabad over weekend, commended Pakistan for supporting recent peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban, the White House said. She also “urged Pakistan to intensify its efforts to counter terrorist sanctuaries inside its borders in order to promote regional peace and stability,” the statement said.

Pakistan, which supported the Taliban during the 1990s, has blown hot and cold over the insurgency while contending it was working to bring about Afghan reconciliation. Islamabad organized the first set of direct peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government in July.

Rice also met with representatives of Pakistan’s civil society during her visit, and assured them of strong U.S. support for their efforts, the White House said.

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