Biden touts common interests with Pakistan

Jan. 12, 2011 at 1:38 PM
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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Arriving in Islamabad Wednesday, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said America and Pakistan have a common enemy in terrorism.

"Violent extremists are a threat not just to the United States but to Pakistan as well, and indeed the entire civilized world," he said at news conference with Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani. "And they have -- not with your help -- but they have found refuge in some of the most remote refuges of your country. Al-Qaida has worked with extremist allies who have had you as a target and your people as a target."

Biden emphasized his ties to Pakistan, noting it was his third trip there in four years and that he had helped draft legislation giving $7.5 billion in non-military aid.

Earlier, Biden met with President Asif Ali Zardari, who asked for the transfer of Predator drone technology to Pakistan and increased access to U.S. markets, presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar told the Christian Science Monitor.

Biden also made a telephone call to express condolences to Amna Taseer, widow of Punjab Gov. Salman Taseer, who was assassinated Jan. 4. His security guard was arrested and confessed.

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