Pakistani Premier Sharif asks Obama for end to US drone strikes
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called for an end to US drone strikes in his country during a meeting with US President Barack Obama on Wednesday at the White House, dpa reported.
Sharif told reporters after the meeting that he had raised the issue with Obama, "emphasizing the need for an end to such strikes."
Drone strikes have been a long-standing source of tension between Washington and Islamabad but were not mentioned in a joint statement after the meeting.
Obama did not speak directly about the US drone programme in his remarks after meeting with Sharif, saying only that the two leaders had discussed security cooperation and the need to partner in ways that "respect Pakistan's sovereignty."
"It's a challenge, it's not easy, and we committed to working together and making sure that rather than this being a source of tension between our two countries, that it can be a source of strength for us working together in a constructive and respectful way," Obama said.
The White House a day earlier had defended the US use of drones against terrorist suspects and dismissed claims by human rights groups that it had violated international law.