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Published On: Thu, Dec 1st, 2016

Donald Trump calls Nawaz Sharif ‘a terrific guy’

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551532-donald-trump-nawaz-sharifISLAMABAD : Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday night telephoned US President-elect Donald Trump to congratulate him. The two leaders discussed various issues, according to a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office here.

During the conversation, Trump told Sharif that he is willing to play any role that Pakistan wants to address and find solutions to the country’s outstanding problems.

“I am ready and willing to play any role that you want me to play to address and find solutions to the outstanding problems. It will be an honour and I will personally do it. Feel free to call me anytime even before 20th January, that is before I assume my office,” Trump told Sharif. Trump also told Prime Minister Sharif that he is a “terrific guy”.

“You (Sharif) are a terrific guy. You are doing amazing work which is visible in every way. I am looking forward to seeing you soon. As I am talking to you Prime Minister, I feel I am talking to a person I have known for long,” Trump was quoted as telling Sharif. Trump said Pakistan is an “amazing” country with “tremendous opportunities”, the statement said.

“Pakistanis are one of the most intelligent people,” the President-elect said. Sharif also invited Trump to visit Pakistan.
In his reply, Trump said, “He would love to come to a fantastic country, a fantastic place of fantastic people.”

“Please convey to the Pakistani people that they are amazing and all Pakistanis I have known are exceptional people,” said Trump. According to Trump`s transition team, Trump and Sharif on Wednesday discussed how their countries can develop “a strong working relationship”.

The two leaders “had a productive conversation about how the US and Pakistan will have a strong working relationship in the future”, the transition team said in a statement.Trump told Sharif in a telephonic conversation that “he is looking forward to a lasting and strong personal relationship” with him, it added.

Although Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Trump had spoken when Modi called him to congratulate him on his victory soon after the election results were announced, the conversation with Sharif was the first with a South Asian leader after the beginning of the transition process.

The tenor of Trump`s outreach to Pakistan might surprise some who had expected him to take a strong line against Islamabad because of his criticism of that country and vehement opposition to Islamist terrorism during the campaign.

But the friendlier tone he has taken was in keeping with other assertions he made acknowledging the special risks Pakistan posed with its nuclear weapons and its “semi-stable state”.Because of that, he said in a TV interview during the campaign: “We have a little bit of a good relationship. I think I`d try and keep it.”

During his campaign, Trump criticised Pakistan for allowing some terrorist groups to operate from its soil. He ridiculed President Barack Obama`s administration for not being able to help the jailed doctor who helped the US track down and kill Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, who was sheltering in Pakistan. (With Agency inputs)

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