Discussions on a prospective civil nuclear deal may be held when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and US President Barack Obama meet in the US capital next week.
White House spokesperson Josh Earnest told reporters at a briefing on Thursday that the two leaders may discuss the deal that seeks to relax some conditions for Pakistan which could eventually pave the way for acceptance into the Nuclear Supplier’s Group, but said an agreement would be too much to expect.
Read: US exploring deal to limit Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal
“I would not be overly excited about the prospects of reaching the kind of agreement that is being speculated about publicly,” Earnest said. Even still, Earnest’s comments were the first admissions in public by an Obama administration official on the deal.
“The expectation that we have is that a deal like the one that’s been discussed publicly is not something that’s likely to come to fruition next week,” he said, before adding that “The United States and Pakistan are regularly engaged in a dialogue about the importance of nuclear security. And I would anticipate that dialogue would include conversations between the leaders of our two countries.”
Read: Pakistan likely to secure civil nuclear deal with US: report
The White House spokesperson went on to say that the US was confident in security measures adopted by Pakistan for its nuclear arsenal.
“We continue to have confidence that the government of Pakistan is well aware of the range of potential threats to its nuclear arsenal, and we continue to be confident that Pakistan has a professional and dedicated security force that understands the importance and the high priority that the world places on nuclear security.”
Published in The Express Tribune, October 17th, 2015.
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