Nawaz Sharif leaves for US, ties with India may figure in talks

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Nawaz Sharif to meet Barack Obama
Islamabad, Oct 19:  Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday left on a three-day official visit to the US where he will discuss a slew of issues including ties with India, officials said.

The Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) quoted Sharif as saying that he would discuss with US officials the situation in South Asia, including the latest scenario in Afghanistan.

Pakistan-India relations may also figure during the meetings, APP said.

Sharif will meet US President Barack Obama on Oct 23 and discuss ways to strengthen bilateral trade and economic cooperation.

Washington and Islamabad expect a new phase in their relationship when the US forces withdraw from Afghanistan in 2014 after more than 12 years of war with the Taliban.

The prime minister is expected to underline the implications of the 2014 Afghan transition on Pakistan.

Sharif will also interact with Secretary of State John Kerry as well as Congressional leaders on the Capitol Hill.

Sharif to strengthen bilateral trade with US

The White House said Sharif's "visit will highlight the importance and resilience of the US-Pakistan relationship and provide an opportunity for us to strengthen cooperation on issues of mutual concern".

It identified these areas as energy, trade and economic development, and regional stability.

"The president looks forward to discussions with Sharif on ways we can advance our shared interest of a stable, secure and prosperous Pakistan," a White House statement added.

IANS

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