Obama To Visit Pakistan for First Time Since Taking Oath

WASHINGTON  -- The White House says President Barack Obama will travel to Pakistan next year in his first visit to the country since taking office.

The White House made the announcement Wednesday after Obama convened a monthly national security meeting on Afghanistan and Pakistan where security cooperation with the key U.S. ally was discussed.

The White House said the president also met with a Pakistani delegation and told them he would not be making a stop in their country during his trip to Asia next month, as has been rumored, but committed to going there in 2011 and to welcoming President Asif Ali Zardari (AH'-seef ah-LEE' zar-DAH'-ree) to Washington.

Obama's efforts with Pakistan are focused on eliminating Al Qaeda strongholds and on winding down the war in neighboring Afghanistan.