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President to start 4 nation tours from September 16

President Asif Ali Zardari on 15 days long visit to four countries would leave on September 16 and would return to country on October 01.

The President would leave for UAE on September 16 from where he would leave for UK on September 17, Private TV Channel reported. During three day stay in UK, he would hold talks with British authorities and it is expected that he would meet Quaid Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) Altaf Hussain, sources said.

On September 20, the President would arrive at New York from where he (Zardari), US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown will co-chair an unprecedented summit meeting of the Friends of Democratic Pakistan (FoDP) on September 24

The date and President Barack Obama’s participation were confirmed recently after Pakistan’s Ambassador to United States Husain Haqqani’s visit to the White House. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown originally mooted the idea of the summit.

According to the sources, the summit will affirm international support for Pakistan at a time when Pakistan is facing grave challenges of rooting out terrorism and extremism.

“The extremism problem that we face was created in the 1980s when the whole world collaborated to fight the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, so it is natural that the whole world should cooperate in dealing with the consequences,” said a Pakistani official.

Several heads of state and government, who are attending the United Nations General Assembly, are likely to attend the Friends of Democratic Pakistan Summit.

Those who have already confirmed their participation include the French president, the Prime ministers of Turkey and Sweden and the crown prince of United Arab Emirates.

The summit will consider ways of bolstering the Pakistani government and ensuring stability in the region surrounding the country. It is also likely to signal international support for continuity of the democratic process in Pakistan under the current elected leadership.

Sources in economic and statistic affairs division said it is unexpected that Pakistan would not get cash aid in friends of democratic Pakistan meeting. Pakistan would table the Malakand development projects worth 2 billion dollars in the meeting, sources added.

The President would also meet US President Barack Omaba during stay in New York while he is slated to hold talks with Turkish Prime Minister at the side of FoDP meeting, sources added.

During talks with US President Barack Obama, the President besides discussing bilateral issue and demanding drone technology would urge him to ensure economic opportunity zone in tribal areas, sources said. War against terrorism and recent operation Rahe-e-Rast against militants would came under discussion during the meeting, sources added.

On September 28, the President would return to UK from where he would go to Italy. The President would stay in Italy for three days in Rome and would hold talks with Italian Primer and Italian counterpart to boost bilateral relations.

The President would return to homeland on October 01. It may be recalled here invitation carrying signatures of President Asif Ali Zardari, US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown have been dispatched to heads of friends of democratic Pakistan.

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