Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is scheduled to meet with U.S. President Obama in Washington next month for talks that will address efforts to prevent militant extremism, according to a Thursday White House announcement.
The Oct. 23 meeting will “highlight the importance and resilience of the U.S.-Pakistan relationship” and give the two sides a chance to discuss multiple areas for enhancing relations including trade, energy and fostering regional stability, Obama press secretary Jay Carney said.
The talks at the White House will constitute the first formal meeting between the two world leaders since Sharif was elected in May.
Earlier this month, the Washington Post reported the U.S. intelligence community had ratcheted up efforts to monitor Pakistan’s nuclear weapons complex out of concern that local extremist actors could infiltrate or attack atomic facilities in order to acquire materials for a nuclear bomb. Islamabad responded to the media report by reiterating past claims that its nuclear arsenal is kept fully secure.
Given the priority Obama places on improving global-nuclear security, he and Sharif could talk about Pakistan’s atomic protections.
Sharif met with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday on the margins of the U.N. General Assembly meeting, according to a Pakistani Foreign Ministry press release.
“The two sides reviewed the state of bilateral relationship and agreed to intensify the engagements in the coming weeks and months to further expand and deepen bilateral cooperation in all areas,” the release states.
Sharif told Kerry that dealing with Pakistan’s energy crisis was a major priority of his administration. In years past, Islamabad has petitioned Washington to grant it an atomic-energy trade deal, similar to the one signed with longtime rival India in 2008. The Obama administration thus far has refused these repeated entreaties.
The Pakistani leader is slated to address the U.N. General Assembly on Friday and could meet briefly with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of the gathering, according to the Pakistani Nation newspaper. Sharif addressed a high-level U.N. meeting on Wednesday, when he talked about reducing poverty.
What We're Following See More »
"American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers." The conversations centered around Paul Manafort, who was campaign chairman at the time, and Michael Flynn, former national security adviser and then a close campaign surrogate. Both men have been tied heavily with Russia and Flynn is currently at the center of the FBI investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
"Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been cleared by U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts to oversee an investigation into possible collusion between then-candidate Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign and Russia." Some had speculated that the White House would use "an ethics rule limiting government attorneys from investigating people their former law firm represented" to trip up Mueller's appointment. Jared Kushner is a client of Mueller's firm, WilmerHale. "Although Mueller has now been cleared by the Justice Department, the White House may still use his former law firm's connection to Manafort and Kushner to undermine the findings of his investigation, according to two sources close to the White House."
Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and ranking member Mark Warner (D-VA) will subpoena two businesses owned by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Burr said, "We would like to hear from General Flynn. We'd like to see his documents. We'd like him to tell his story because he publicly said he had a story to tell."