Pakistani leader urges Obama to end strikes

Pakistan's prime minister on Wednesday urged President Obama to end U.S. drone strikes in his country during his first visit to the White House since winning election in May.

Nawaz Sharif told reporters that he “brought up the issues of drones during our meeting, emphasizing the need for an end to such strikes.” 

The strikes are believed to have killed more than 2,000 militants over the past decade but have become a major irritant in U.S.-Pakistani relations.

Obama said there would “inevitably be some tensions ... and some misunderstandings between our two countries” but vowed to move forward with economic and military cooperation as the U.S. prepares to draw down forces from Afghanistan next year. The administration's policy is based on the principles of “respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the two countries said in a joint statement.

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Obama approved the release of $1.6 billion in frozen aid ahead of the visit by Sharif, whose election marked the first peaceful democratic transition in Pakistan's history. 

Pakistan's civilian leaders have long complained about the drone strikes and demanded more information. The country's powerful military, however, has long been suspected of backing the raids.


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