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Obama skips Pak-US ties to highlight military successes in State of Union address

January 26, 2012 - Washington

US President Barack Obama skipped talking about the deteriorating Indo-Pak ties, and instead, highlighted his military successes, including the killing of former Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden and the withdrawal of troops from Iraq in his election-year State of the Union address.

He vowed that the US will remain the "one indispensable nation" in his tenure, but downplayed the challenges faced by the country in targeting the Taliban in Afghanistan and ending sectarian conflict in Iraq.

"Most of Al-Qaeda's top lieutenants have been defeated. The Taliban's momentum has been broken, and some troops in Afghanistan have begun to come home," The Nation quoted him, as saying.

He also lauded the contributions of the US military, describing their achievements as "a testament to the courage, selflessness, and teamwork of America's Armed Forces," and proposed the formation of new "Veterans Jobs Corps," to help communities hire veterans when they return home.

He also vowed to do whatever it takes to ensure that Iran never obtains a nuclear arsenal but stressed to resolve the issue by peaceful means.

Obama also rejected Republican claims that he has damaged US- Israel ties, saying the country has an "iron-clad commitment to Israel's security."

He admitted the outcome of the Arab Spring remains uncertain, but added that the US has "a huge stake" on the issue.


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