Obama offers Pakistan leader ‘condolences’ over air strike deaths

President Obama on Sunday tried to control the escalating diplomatic damage resulting from a Nov. 25 NATO air strike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

Obama called Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari to try to offer “condolences” over the deaths but the White House is making no mention of an apology. The U.S. contends that Pakistani soldiers fired on the NATO drones first.

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Obama did tell the Pakistani leader that the killings were not deliberate.

“Earlier today the President placed a phone call to Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari to personally express his condolences on the tragic loss of twenty-four Pakistani soldiers this past week along the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan,” a readout of the call states.

“The President made clear that this regrettable incident was not a deliberate attack on Pakistan and reiterated the United States’ strong commitment to a full investigation,” the readout states.

Pakistan has announced that it will boycott a major international conference taking place in Germany on Monday in response to the NATO attack. The conference is to address the future of Afghanistan where the U.S. is in the midst of a 10-year war.

Fox News Channel reported Sunday that the U.S. was starting to evacuate a Pakistani airbase on Sunday after being ordered to leave by authorities.