U.S. President Barack Obama says he hopes that the strong "people to people connections" between the American people and Pakistani people will be reflected in their two governments, despite what he said were "tensions" and "occasional misunderstandings" between the two countries.
Obama was speaking to reporters in the Oval Office on Wednesday with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, after the two leaders discussed a range of issues from U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan to mutual economic development.
Relations between the two countries remain tense on major issues, including Pakistani opposition to the drone strikes and Washington's complaints about the ties of the Pakistani intelligence service to militant groups active in Afghanistan.
But the bonds appear to be on the mend after a series of major setbacks in recent years, including the bin Laden raid, a NATO air strike that mistakenly killed Pakistani border guards and a January 2011 incident in which a CIA contractor killed two men on the streets of Lahore, Pakistan.
Prime Minister Sharif told reporters he brought up the issue of drones in his meeting with Obama, emphasizing the need to end such strikes.
Sharif is scheduled to meet with members of the U.S. Congress in Washington this week and aid will be one of the main issues, a congressional staff member said.