Obama to host Afghan, Pakistan summit Wednesday

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AFP

US President Barack Obama will host a summit with his Afghan and Pakistani counterparts on Wednesday amid growing US concern over the deteriorating situation in the region, the White House said.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani leader Asif Ali Zardari will also hold separate talks with Obama as well as a mini-summit, said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs."The president looks forward to discussing with these two democratically elected leaders how we can work together to enhance our cooperation in this important part of the world as the United States implements a new strategy" for Afghanistan and Pakistan, said Gibbs.

     

The trilateral format is "quite helpful at beginning to change mindsets and, frankly, set forth some requirements about what we expect from these governments," according to Clinton.

"We’ll have some very intense sessions on the specifics of what we’re trying to accomplish," the chief US diplomat said about next week’s talks.

"We think that there are a number of important missions in Afghanistan, but we can only do a few. And we have to count on our allies and partners to do others," she said.

"Obviously, we’re taking the lead on security and stability operations, from the training of the Afghanistan National Army and police," she said.

"We need to learn from the lessons that were painfully taught us in Iraq. We need to better integrate our military and civilian assets and approach," the chief US diplomat added.

"In Afghanistan, we actually have quite a bit of support from the international community, both in terms of military and civilian personnel and in contributions," she said.

"And in Pakistan, it’s a very difficult environment because of the confusion among the civilian and military leadership about how to prioritize what is the greatest threat to Pakistan going forward," she said.

Obama said Wednesday that Pakistan’s powerful military was starting to end its "obsession" with historic rival India and refocusing efforts on fighting extremists at home.

Pakistan has fought three fully-fledged wars with India since their separation at birth in 1947 on independence from Britain.

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