Monday, June 16, 2003

Bush to Reward Musharraf with Trip to Camp David

It seems President Bush will be rewarding Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf for is efforts in curbing terror post 9/11 with regards to Afghanistan with a trip to Camp David. Is it me, or is it not very often that military dictators who took power through non-democratic means -coup d'etat's for example- are invited to Camp David for meetings. The Washington Post reports that

Bush plans to use the June 24 visit to lean on Musharraf to work harder to prevent al Qaeda from using his country to regroup, and to continue improving relations with India, the officials said. The United States and Pakistan hope to sign a preliminary trade agreement, officials said. Pakistani officials also expect Bush to continue discussions about U.S. requests for troops to aid stabilization in Iraq. Visits to Bush's ranch in Crawford, Tex., are reserved for heads of government with whom the president wants to show a special kinship, but foreign governments consider Camp David a close second and far preferable to a White House meeting. "Both the optics and the substance are better at Camp David," said a Pakistani official who requested anonymity. "This shows President Bush considers it a personal relationship." U.S. officials said that although some Bush aides were worried about how India would react to the visit, intelligence agencies strongly supported the Camp David treatment for Musharraf, since Pakistan has been crucial as a recruiting ground and a staging area for operations in Afghanistan.


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