Obama Offers Pakistan Prez 'Condolences' After Strike

Stops short of issuing formal apology
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 4, 2011 5:04 PM CST
President Barack Obama meets with Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, Friday, Jan. 14, 2011.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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(Newser) – In a phone conversation eight days after NATO airstrikes killed two dozen Pakistani soldiers, President Obama today offered "condolences" for the deaths to Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari, the White House says. Diplomats had encouraged the president to apologize in an effort to soothe strained US-Pakistan relations, but Obama stopped short of offering a formal apology, the New York Times reports.

"The president made clear that this regrettable incident was not a deliberate attack on Pakistan and reiterated the United States’ strong commitment to a full investigation," the White House said in a statement. "The two presidents reaffirmed their commitment to the US-Pakistan bilateral relationship, which is critical to the security of both nations, and they agreed to stay in close touch."

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