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Pakistani president, UK prime minister to meet despite terror row

By the CNN Wire Staff
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari will have dinner at David Cameron's country retreat.
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari will have dinner at David Cameron's country retreat.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • British prime minister had warned Pakistan not to "export" terror
  • Pakistani president, prime minister will have dinner and a sit-down
  • Pakistan's spy chief canceled a planned visit to the UK

(CNN) -- Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari will meet with British Prime Minister David Cameron on Thursday for an informal dinner despite remarks by the latter on Islamabad's handling of terrorism.

The two will also have a formal meeting at Cameron's Chequers country retreat on Friday, the prime minister's office said.

On a trip to Bangalore, India, last week, Cameron told an audience that Pakistan should not export terror.

"We want to see a strong and a stable and a democratic Pakistan," Cameron said. "But we cannot tolerate in any sense the idea that this country is allowed to look both ways and is able in any way to promote the export of terror, whether to India or whether to Afghanistan, or anywhere else in the world."

In response, Pakistan canceled its spy chief's planned visit to the United Kingdom to discuss security cooperation between the nations, said a Pakistani military official, who asked not to be named because he was not supposed to talk to the media.

There is no reason to bark at each other. We have had good relations in the past and we want to progress our relations.
--Pakistani Information Minister
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But on Saturday, Pakistan Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira said his country wants to maintain its good ties with the UK.

"There is no reason to bark at each other. We have had good relations in the past and we want to progress our relations," Kaira said.

Kaira described Cameron's statement as a "misperception" that was "against the facts" and "not in good taste," but he said he expected the bilateral meetings between Zardari and U.K. officials to be fruitful.

"The president of Pakistan will have dialogue and good discussion, and he will explain the facts to the new government," he said.

Some critics in Pakistan had called for the president to cancel his visit. One group of protesters burned an effigy of Cameron.

CNN's Nasir Habib contributed to this report.