SEOUL:US President Barack Obama told Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani on Tuesday he hoped a Pakistan parliamentary review of ties with Washington would be balanced and respect US security needs.
The two men met on the sidelines of a nuclear security summit in South Korea, with the crucial anti-terror alliance still rocked by a row sparked when US air strikes mistakenly killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November.
Their meeting comes amid heightened tensions between the US and Pakistan following a series of incidents that have marred trust.
The relationship breaking point in November when US forces returned fire they believed came from a Pakistani border post, killing 24 Pakistani troops.
Both leaders spoke of their mutual interest in a stable Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Pakistan's parliament has been drawing up recommendations on how to proceed on ties with Washington.
“I welcome the fact that the parliament in Pakistan is reviewing, after some extensive study, the nature of this relationship,” Obama said at the start of the meeting on the sidelines of a nuclear security summit. “I think that it's important for us to get it right.”
“There have been times -- I think we should be frank -- in the last several months where those relations have experienced strains,” Obama said.
Pakistan shut off ground supply lines to the US-led Nato mission in land-locked Afghanistan in the wake of the Salala attack.
Obama said he hoped the parliamentary review would take a “balanced approach that respects Pakistan's sovereignty, but also respects our concerns with respect to our national security and our needs to battle terrorists who have targeted us in the past”.
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