As protests mounted in Islamabad over some American officials and politicians threatening military strikes against Al-Qaeda "safe havens" in tribal areas, US President George W Bush on Friday assured his Pakistan counterpart Pervez Musharraf that Washington fully "respected" Pakistan's sovereignty and "appreciated" its role in war against terror.
"He (Bush) said that such statements were unsavoury and often prompted by political considerations in an environment of electioneering," a Pakistan Foreign Ministry statement said after Bush's telephone conversation with Musharraf.
Apparently referring to a statement by Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama threatening strikes if Pakistan failed to crack down on Al-Qaeda hideouts, Bush agreed that "such statements did not serve the interests of either country," it said.
"President Bush stated that the United States fully respected Pakistan's sovereignty and appreciated Pakistan's resolve in fighting Al-Qaeda and other terrorist elements," the statement said.
In the course of the conversation, Musharraf also raised the issue of a recent legislation on funding for Pakistan adopted by the US Congress in regard to the implementation of 9/11 Commission's recommendations. Musharraf expressed concern over elements that reflected negatively on the Pak-US bilateral cooperation and relations, the statement said.
Bush responded by saying that he did not foresee adverse impact of any of the Pakistan-specific provisions on the existing cooperation which was in the mutual interest of the two countries.