President Obama spoke with Pakistani President Asif Zardari by telephone this morning to discuss Mr Obama's decision to increase the US troop presence in Afghanistan, and to discuss his view for the way forward in Pakistan. Below is a read out from the White House of the leaders conversation.

"The President recognized the profound sacrifices Pakistan has made in its efforts to combat extremists in its northwest and emphasized that our goal is to defeat al-Qaida and to ensure stability in the region. The two presidents agreed that the close partnership between Pakistan and the United States is vital to success, and President Obama promised to continue to assist Pakistan in its efforts against extremists."