No Nuke-Deal with Pakistan but Worries about Safety, Security Remain: WH

In 2013, President Obama's bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan

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Washington, DC – The White House today (Thursday) showed no excitement about a civil nuclear deal with Pakistan but expressed concerns on the safety and security of the nuclear arsenal in the terrorist infested country.

On the question of a bilateral civil nuclear deal, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told journalists at the daily briefing, “I know there’s been a lot of public speculation about this. In asking the same question to a lot of our folks here who are working on this issue, I would not be overly excited about the prospects of reaching the kind of agreement that is being speculated about publicly.”

Earnest, however, expressed concerns on the issues related to nuclear safety and security, saying, “We continue to have confidence that the government of Pakistan is well aware of the range of potential threats to its nuclear arsenal, and we continue to be confident that Pakistan has a professional and dedicated security force that understands the importance and the high priority that the world places on nuclear security.”

“The expectation that we have is that a deal like the one that’s been discussed publicly is not something that’s likely to come to fruition next week. But the United States and Pakistan are regularly engaged in a dialogue about the importance of nuclear security,” Earnest said.

“I would anticipate that that dialogue would include conversations between the leaders of our two countries,” he added while answering another question.

Pakistan’s prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, will pay a three-day official visit to the United States starting October 20 to discuss bilateral ties with President Barack Obama.

Earlier, today (Thursday) at the White House, President Barak Obama told journalists he will maintain the current number of American troops in Afghanistan and reiterated Washington’s support for an Afghan-led reconciliation process to achieve lasting peace in the strife-torn nation.

Without naming Pakistan, Obama said that sanctuaries for the Taliban and other terrorists must end.

“Next week, I will host Prime Minister Sharif of Pakistan, and I will continue to urge all parties in the region to press the Taliban to return to peace talks and to do their part in pursuit of the peace that Afghans deserve,” Obama told journalists.

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