"I'm confident that the President will come to his meeting with Prime Minister Sharif with some ideas about what more the Pakistanis could do to strengthen the relationship between our two countries and to advance the security interests of our two countries," White House Press Secretary, Josh Earnest said.

To a question on the status of relations, Earnest said it's been well documented that there 'have been some peaks and troughs in the relationship' between the US and Pakistan.

"I think something similar can be said about the United States and our relationship with a variety of countries around the world over the last couple of decades," he said.

"What the President hopes to do is to strengthen the relationship between our two countries based on our shared interest. There is a shared interest that the United States and the Pakistan have in countering extremist forces in that region of the world," he stated, adding that this is something that Pakistan has to deal with on their doorstep.

"The United States has an important security relationship with Pakistan, that our security forces have in a variety of ways been able to effectively coordinate our efforts in a way that enhances the national security of both the United States and Pakistan," Earnest noted.

The spokesman said there are extremist elements inside of Pakistan that have committed terrible acts of violence and terrible acts of terrorism inside of Pakistan.

"I have on previous occasions read condolence statements on behalf of the American people to the Pakistani people because of those extremist elements. I cite that only to note that this is a shared priority of our two countries; that this risk that we sense emanates from this broader region is a risk that or is a threat that Pakistan has had to deal with first-hand," he said.

This underscores the importance of America's security relationship with the Pakistanis, he added.

Earnest stated one of the early rounds of reconciliation talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban was actually hosted by the Pakistani government in Pakistan.

"So it's clear that the Pakistan government recognizes how important those reconciliation efforts are and we're pleased that they stepped up in trying to facilitate constructive conversations," he noted.


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