Barack Obama calls Nawaz Sharif, informs of his India visit

US President Barack Obama today telephoned Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and informed him about his forthcoming visit to India, as the two leaders discussed bilateral ties and the regional situation.

PTI| Last Updated: Nov 22, 2014, 01:01 AM IST
Barack Obama calls Nawaz Sharif, informs of his India visit

Islamabad: US President Barack Obama today telephoned Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and informed him about his forthcoming visit to India, as the two leaders discussed bilateral ties and the regional situation.

The Pakistan Prime Minister's Office said that President Obama informed Sharif of his forthcoming visit to India in January to attend India's republic Day Parade as the Chief Guest.

During the call, Sharif recalled an invitation he extended to Obama last year in Washington and conveyed the expectation of the people of Pakistan to welcome the US President to the country sometime in the future.

"The President also assured the Prime Minister that he would undertake a visit to Pakistan at an early date, as soon as the situation normalises in the country," the Prime Minister's Office said in a statement.

Prime Minister Sharif also urged President Obama to take up the Kashmir issue with the Indian leadership, stating that its early resolution would bring enduring peace, stability and economic cooperation to Asia, it said.

During the call, Sharif also referred to his visit to India earlier this year to take relations forward.

Sharif alleged that India subsequently took "unfortunate steps, including cancellation of Foreign Secretary-level talks" and "firing across the LoC resulting in civilian casualties" which showed that "India was averse to normalisation of relations with Pakistan."

Sharif said Pakistan "remains open to the resumption of bilateral dialogue and the onus is on India to create a conducive environment in this regard."

"President Obama expressed his understanding for our position," the statement said.

The two leaders also discussed the regional situation.

The Prime Minister also referred to the improvement of Pakistan-Afghanistan relations as manifest in President Ashraf Ghani's recent visit to Islamabad.

President Obama appreciated Prime Minister Sharif's efforts in this regard and called it pivotal for the peace and stability in the region, the statement said.

Sharif recalled his warm and friendly meeting with the US President in Washington in October last year and their subsequent interaction at the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague in March this year, it said.

Sharif expressed satisfaction with the direction of Pakistan-US relations which were on an upward trajectory, since his government came to power last year.

President Obama noted that Pakistan-US relations were strong and robust. He was pleased to see that the government had determined the right economic priorities and was successfully overcoming the challenges, the statement said.

The two leaders agreed to stay engaged to further strengthen Pakistan-US relations in their common desire to promote peace and prosperity in South Asia, it said.