Washington: In a clear snub to Pakistan, US President Barack Obama left off the country from a list of nations he thanked for getting war supplies into Afghanistan, signalling a deepening rift between the two nations.
"I want to welcome the presence of (Afghan) President (Hamid) Karzai, as well as officials from Central Asia and Russia, nations that have an important perspective and that continue to provide critical transit for ISAF supplies," host Obama said in his remarks at the NATO Summit.
Obama's cold shoulder to Pakistan came despite President Asif Ali Zardari occupying a seat on the round table along with his Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar at the summit.
Barack Obama left off the country from a list of nations he thanked for getting war supplies into Afghanistan.
The unmistakable snub came after Obama refused to take out time during the two-day summit in his hometown to see Zardari for a face-to-face bilateral meeting.
Pakistan is not a NATO member but was invited to the summit because of its influence in Afghanistan and providing land supply routes to allied forces in that country.
The last minute invitation to Zardari to join the Chicago talks was a sign of US hopes that the rift had heeled.
The US President stressed that the only exchange he had with his Pakistani counterpart was short, "very brief, as we were walking into the summit," US media reports said.