(WASHINGTON) — Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was blunt about a sensitive subject when he sat down with the president at the White House Wednesday. He urged Obama to put a stop to the drone strikes in his country, which have reportedly killed hundreds of civilians.
“I also brought up the issue of drones in our meeting, emphasizing the need for an end to such strikes,” Sharif told reporters in the Oval Office following the meeting.
While President Obama did not directly address the targeted killings in his remarks, he did recognize the “tension” between their two countries and expressed his hope that they can find “constructive ways to partner together, ways that respect Pakistan’s sovereignty, that respect the concerns of both countries.”
“My hope is that despite what inevitably will be some tensions between our two countries and occasional misunderstandings between our two countries, that the fundamental goodwill that is shared between Pakistani people and the American people, that that will be reflected in our government’s relationships and that we will continue to make progress in the coming years,” Obama said.
Their meeting came one day after Amnesty International released a new report claiming drone strikes in Pakistan have resulted in far more civilian casualties than the United States has acknowledged. The White House has said it’s carefully reviewing the report, but is adamant that the U.S. has broken no international laws.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Paul Cruickshank and Michael Pearson, CNN