Obama calls Zardari, says more needs to done to tackle terror

Obama calls Zardari, says more needs to done to tackle terror

US President Barack Obama yesterday called up his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari to discuss the results of the third round of Strategic Dialogue, held between the two countries in Washington early this week.

"Both President Obama and President Zardari acknowledged that more work needed to be done to address the direct threat to our countries posed by terrorist groups in Pakistan," a White House statement said.

"They also agreed that the US and Pakistan have worked hard to build an atmosphere of trust and cooperation, and committed to ongoing efforts to build a stronger, strategic, and more collaborative US-Pakistan relationship," the statement said.

Obama emphasised US' commitment and support for democracy and transparency in Pakistan, highlighting Washington and Islamabad share an interest in ensuring democratic traditions in Pakistan are strengthened, it stated.

"He also acknowledged Pakistan’s economic difficulties, and encouraged President Zardari to work to pass key economic reforms, such as tax reform and containing energy subsidies," White House said, adding that Obama concluded the call by conveying his intention to visit Pakistan in 2011 and personally welcomed Zardari to visit the US in the coming year.

The White House said the call was made by Obama to consult with Zardari on the progress made during the recent US-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue, and to reinforce Washington's commitment to partner with Pakistan on economic, development, and governance priorities