View Full Version : Rice Speaks With Pakistan's Musharraf

08-09-2007, 07:38 AM
Rice speaks with Pakistan‘s Musharraf


By MATTHEW LEE, Associated Press Writer
08 August, 2007

WASHINGTON - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice spoke at length late Wednesday with Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf as the key U.S. anti-terrorism ally weighed imposing a state of emergency due to security concerns in the nuclear-armed nation.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the situation, refused to discuss the substance of the 17-minute conversation that began shortly after 2 a.m. Thursday Pakistan time.

Pakistani television networks reported that a declaration of an emergency was imminent, although senior officials said no final decision had been made.

But some believe the possible step may be tied to domestic politics as Musharraf‘s popularity has dwindled and his standing has been badly shaken by a failed bid to oust the country‘s chief justice — an independent-minded judge likely to rule on expected legal challenges to the president‘s bid to seek a new five-year presidential term this fall.

Rice‘s call to Musharraf followed comments by State Department spokesman Sean McCormack who said the U.S. understood Musharraf‘s abrupt decision to skip the meeting.

Just hours before those remarks, McCormack had told reporters the United States hoped Musharraf would be able to attend at least some of the meeting, if not the opening, and that U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson had been in touch with Pakistani officials to determine how Islamabad would be represented.

The idea for the peace meeting was hatched in September 2006 during a meeting between Bush, Karzai and Musharraf in Washington as a way to stem rising cross-border violence.