Readout of President Obama’s Meeting on Afghanistan and Pakistan
President Obama met with his national security team for his monthly meeting on Afghanistan and Pakistan for nearly ninety minutes today. The meeting began with a discussion of our ongoing efforts to work with our Pakistani and Afghan partners to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda and its affiliates, including counter-terrorism operations that have killed or captured several al Qaeda leaders in recent months. The President and his team then discussed our relationship with Pakistan in the context of this week’s Strategic Dialogue in Washington, including our security cooperation, the need to increase pressure on extremist safe-havens, our support for the Pakistani people and their democratic institutions, and our efforts to help Pakistan recover from the devastating floods. The President and his team then discussed our ongoing efforts in Afghanistan, including recent developments related to the Afghan elections, economic development, the local police initiative, and President Karzai’s establishment of a High Peace Council to support Afghan-led reintegration and reconciliation. The President received a briefing on the security situation in Afghanistan, including our efforts to target Taliban leadership, our security operations around Kandahar, and our preparations for the NATO Summit in Lisbon.
Later this afternoon the President met with the Pakistani delegation to the U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue. The President underlined the importance of the Dialogue in moving our relationship toward a true partnership based on mutual respect and common interests. The President and the Pakistani delegation agreed on the need for regional stability, and specifically on the importance of cooperating toward a peaceful and stable outcome in Afghanistan. The President explained that he would not be stopping in Pakistan during his trip to Asia next month, and committed to visiting Pakistan in 2011, as well as welcoming President Zardari to Washington. This round of the Strategic Dialogue – the third such meeting this year -- concludes on Friday, October 22.
To view a photograph of the President’s meeting click HERE.