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US to Host Summit to Enhance Co-op with Pak and Afghanistan

Amidst worsening conditions in south Asian region, US President Barack Obama is going to host a summit with his Afghan and Pakistani counterparts on Wednesday to enhance cooperation for acquiring peace in the region, said the White House.

Elaborating the programme, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said that Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani leader Asif Ali Zardari would also hold separate talks with Obama as well as a mini-summit.

Gibbs said that the US president looks forward to discussing with these two democratically elected leaders how US, Pakistan and Afghanistan can work together to enhance mutual cooperation in this important part of the world as the US implements a new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said top officials from both countries would be in Washington for the Wednesday visit, but did not say whether they would include her counterparts Shah Mehmood Qureshi of Pakistan and Rangeen Dadfar Spanta of Afghanistan. Clinton held three-way talks with the two foreign ministers in February.

It should be noted that Obama has put nuclear-armed Pakistan, a key regional US ally, at the center of the fight against Al-Qaeda as Washington dispatches 4,000 more troops, in addition to an extra 17,000 already committed, to Afghanistan.

The plan, unveiled in March, includes a focus on flushing out Al-Qaeda sanctuaries in Pakistan and boosting civilian efforts to build up both Afghanistan and Pakistan, notably in agriculture and education.

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