Zardari to meet Obama during his Washington visit

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Lalit K Jha

Washington, Jan 13 (PTI) US President Barack Obamawould meet his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari at theWhite House here tomorrow and hold talks on issues ofbilateral importance including combating terrorism.

Zardari is on his way to expected to attend a memorialceremony for the late Richard Holbrooke, Obama''s special envoyfor Afghanistan and Pakistan who died last month at age 69.

"President Obama will meet with President Zardari ofPakistan here at the White House tomorrow," White House PressSecretary Robert Gibbs told reporters at his daily newsconference today.

"The two leaders will discuss aspects of the US-Pakistan strategic partnership, including our mutualcommitment to economic reform, support for democracy and goodgovernance, and joint efforts to combat terrorism," Gibbssaid.

Zardari is already scheduled to meet Secretary ofState Hillary Clinton during his visit.

"He''s in town for Holbrooke''s service, and we thoughtit was a good opportunity to add a meeting with PresidentZardari," Gibbs said, adding that the meeting would be closedfor the press.

Besides Obama and Clinton, Zardari would also bemeeting several other lawmakers on issues related to the waragainst terrorism and the bilateral relationship.

Zardari''s US trip comes immediately after theIslamabad visit of US Vice President Joe Biden early thisweek.

Zardari left for the US from Islamabad today to attendthe memorial service for Holbrooke.

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