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Pakistani Prime Minister Sharif Leaves For Visit To United States

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (left) is scheduled to meet U.S. President Barack Obama on October 23
Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has left his country on a four-day trip to the United States to discuss issues that have soured relations between the two countries.

The U.S. State Department says Secretary of State John Kerry will meet Sharif in Washington on October 20 before Kerry leaves for a visit to Europe.

Sharif is expected to meet President Barack Obama at the White House on October 23.

Sharif's trip is the highest level Pakistani visit to the United States in years.

Sharif was elected in May, and Obama's administration has backed his government.

The talks are expected to include conditions in Afghanistan ahead of the withdrawal of foreign combat forces by the end of 2014.

Other items on the agenda include counterterrorism cooperation, U.S. drone strikes, and efforts to boost Pakistan’s economy.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, dpa, and AFP