Obama, Zardari discuss Pakistan

Jan. 14, 2011 at 6:36 PM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 14 (UPI) -- President Obama and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari had a private meeting before Friday's memorial for Richard Holbrooke, Obama's regional envoy.

The issues on the table were those Holbrooke dealt with before his death Dec. 12. They included efforts to stabilize Pakistan and Afghanistan and to drive terrorists out of Pakistan's tribal areas, the White House said in a summary of the meeting.

"The discussion focused on our shared efforts to fight terrorism and promote regional stability, specifically on the importance of cooperating toward a peaceful and stable outcome in Afghanistan," the statement said. "The President underscored the importance of the U.S.-Pakistan relationship and our continued support for Pakistan."

While Zardari was in Washington, thousands of protesters demonstrated in Rawalpindi in support of Pakistan's blasphemy laws. Salman Taseer, the governor of the Punjab, who favored easing the law, was assassinated Jan. 4, allegedly by a member of his security team.

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