WASHINGTON -- Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif readied for his upcoming visit to the United States in a high-level meeting on Tuesday to discuss his country's national security. Sharif, who was elected in June, is due to meet with President Barack Obama on Oct. 23.
According to a statement from the prime minister's office, the meeting reviewed the overall security situation in Pakistan, as well as proposed talks with the Taliban. Representatives of Pakistan's political parties agreed last month to hold peace talks with local Taliban militants in an effort to bring an end to homegrown militancy.
Also in attendance Tuesday were Minister for the Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Sharif's national security and foreign affairs adviser, Sartaj Aziz, and Sharif's special assistant, Tariq Fatemi.
James Dobbins, the U.S. Special Envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan, is currently in Islamabad to finalize the agenda for the upcoming meeting between Sharif and Obama. On Monday, he called on Aziz and expressed the Obama administration's determination to work with Pakistan's new political leadership.
Secretary of State John Kerry had extended the invitation to Sharif to meet with Obama during the recent United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York City.
"The president looks forward to discussions with Prime Minister Sharif on ways we can advance our shared interest of a stable, secure, and prosperous Pakistan," White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement. "The visit will highlight the importance and resilience of the U.S.-Pakistan relationship and provide an opportunity for us to strengthen cooperation on issues of mutual concern, such as energy, trade and economic development, regional stability, and countering violent extremism."