President Bush: U.S. respects Pakistan's sovereignty

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Bush and Zardari meeting at the sidelines of the 63rd UN General Assembly session

U.S. President George W. Bush acknowledged Pakistan’s sovereignty and pledged continued support for the country in economic and security fields. His comments were likely in response to the Pakistani president's anger when US helicopters crossed Pakistani borders.

Bush and Asif Ali Zardari, newly elected President of Pakistan, met at the Waldorf Asotria Hotel on the sidelines of the 63rd UN General Assembly session and discussed strengthening their bilateral relationship. Bush also expressed full support for the "Friends of Pakistan" initiative to drum up international support for its economic development.

While talking to the press, Pakistan's Information Minister Sherry Rahman said "President Bush praised President Zardari's courage and commitment to fight terrorism despite his great personal loss". Bush also expressed grief over the heavy loss of life during the weekend bombing on the Marriot hotel, Islamabad.

At the outset, he said Pakistan was an important ally and reaffirmed the United States commitment to assist Pakistan’s economic development while also citing Washington’s bipartisan support in this respect.

Zardari took over the presidency from Pervez Musharraf in August.