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US wishes Zardari well, dismisses coup rumors

December 08, 2011

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White House Press Secretary Jay Carney speaks during his afternoon news conference.—AP

WASHINGTON: The United States Wednesday wished Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari well after aides said he suffered a heart attack and dismissed rumors that the civilian leader was being pushed out.

“We have seen the reports. We certainly wish him a speedy recovery,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney.

Zardari's illness sparked media reports that he is contemplating resignation, but loyalists ruled out the idea he may step down.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner, asked if the United States was worried that a quiet coup was underway against the embattled president, said:

“No concerns and no reason to believe” the speculation.

“Our belief is that it's completely health-related,” Toner told reporters.