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Gilani cancels US trip after Obama snub

Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani called off his planned visit to the US at the eleventh hour after President Barack Obama refused to meet him on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session.

world Updated: Sep 18, 2011 01:06 IST

Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani called off his planned visit to the US at the eleventh hour after President Barack Obama refused to meet him on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session.

The Prime Minister's house announced on Friday that Gilani had called off his visit as he intended to personally supervise relief operations in flood-hit areas of Sindh.

But the Dawn newspaper reported that one of the reasons for the move was Obama's "refusal to meet" Gilani on the sidelines of the UN session in New York.

Gilani has now directed foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar to represent Pakistan at the UNGA session.

The Pakistan embassy in Washington and the consulate general in New York had "tried hard to arrange a meeting between Gilani and Obama but failed", the report said.

Relations between Pakistan and the US have grown worse after US defence officials aired their suspicions on Pakistan intelligence agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) being behind the recent attack on its embassy in Kabul.

"The possibility of ISI involvement was being considered within hours of the attack, when President Barack Obama's national security council met," The Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday.