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U.S. offers gas support to Pakistan

Oct. 24, 2013 at 8:17 AM

WASHINGTON, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- The U.S. and Pakistani governments committed to meeting at the working group level to discuss Pakistan's domestic gas reserves, the White House said.

President Barack Obama met Wednesday with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The White House said in a statement the Pakistani government characterized a lingering energy crisis as a "top priority."

Pakistan's aging infrastructure and energy sector mismanagement have left most the country without a reliable source of electricity.

The White House said the Pakistani government provided assurances it would work to better utilize its own natural gas reserves, hydroelectric power and other forms of renewable energy.

"The two leaders looked forward to the meeting of the working group on energy in November 2013, followed by a U.S.-organized Pakistani trade mission to Houston, Texas, to meet with major U.S. energy companies," the White House said. "In preparation for this working group, the two Leaders instructed their teams to develop a U.S. technical assistance program to support the development of Pakistan's domestic natural gas reserves."

No statements were issued by either leader.

Pakistan is working with Iran on a bilateral natural gas pipeline. The U.S. government warned Islamabad earlier this year the pipeline would violate sanctions targeting Iran's energy sector.

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