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Obama, Gilani agree to continue efforts to combat terrorism

Seoul: President Obama and Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani at their meeting in Seoul on Tuesday agreed to continue joint efforts to combat terrorism and peace in the region.

In brief comments to reporters after a hour long meeting here, U.S. President Barack Obama said he hopes Pakistan’s parliament will take a “balanced approach” in its review of ties with the United States.

President Obama acknowledged the relationship is going through a rough period. Still, the president said he welcomed the parliamentary review.

“There have been times – I think we should be candid – over the last several months where those relations have had periods of strains,” Obama said. “But I welcome the fact that the Parliament of Pakistan is reviewing, after some extensive study, the nature of this relationship. I think it’s important to get it right. I think it’s important for us to have candid dialogue, to work through these issues,” he added.

Obama said he hoped the two countries “achieve the kind of balanced approach that respects Pakistan’s sovereignty but also respects our concerns with respect to our national security and our needs to battle terrorists who have targeted us in the past.”

President Obama and Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani agreed to continue joint efforts for durable peace in the region and to combat terrorism.

Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, on occasion, said Pakistan wants good relations with United States but it also wants its sovereignty must be respected.

He said Parliament reviewing dimensions to build ties with US that must be based on mutual interest and mutual respect.

He said Pakistan committed to fight against terrorism added that a prosperous, peaceful and stable Afghanistan was in favor of Pakistan.

Earlier during the meeting, Prime Minister briefed the US president about the ongoing debate in the Parliament on new terms of engagements with United States. President Obama appreciated the Pakistan’s parliamentary debate on the foreign policy and new terms of engagements with the United States and NATO.

He assured continued cooperation with Pakistan in trade and other sectors. He thanked Pakistan for its support to the Afghan reconciliatory process.

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