Bush restates support to Pak in meeting with Zardari

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New York, Sep 24 (UNI) US President George Bush, acknowledging that Pakistan has a right to protect its sovereignty, has restated US support to that country's economic and security needs.

The US leader met yesterday with new Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel here. The meeting took place on the sidelines of the ongoing UN General Assembly's 62nd annual session.

Mr Zardari, who arrived earlier on Monday, attended a reception hosted by President Bush on that night. The Pakistani leader will address the world body tomorrow.

The two leaders also discussed ways and means to strengthen bilateral relations in various fields.

Mr Bush described Pakistan as a ''close and important friend'' and added, ''We want our friends around the world to be making a good living,'' according to a transcript of the talks released by the US side.

Mr Zardari apparently referred to US incursions into Pakistani territory and the country's and its army's displeasure was conveyed to the American president.

''Your words have been very strong about Pakistan's sovereign right and sovereign duty to protect your country, and the United States wants to help,'' the US president said.

PM Zardari praised the US leader for his stance toward Pakistan.

''You prove to the world that your heart is in there for us Pakistanis, and we respect your feelings; we respect the American ideals,'' the Pakistani leader stated.

''Democracy has come full circle, thanks to help of all the friends around the world,'' he added.

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