WASHINGTON - The US Vice-President, Joe Biden, Wednesday underscored the need to combat terrorism and violent extremism as he met Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, ahead of the Pakistani leader’s talks with President Barack Obama.

“Such a joint effort by the US and Pakistan is essential to strengthen regional and national security,” Biden said during the breakfast meeting held at his residence, according to a White House statement.

Later in the day, Biden is scheduled to join Obama in the Oval Office of the White House for his maiden meeting with Sharif.

“The Vice President affirmed to the Prime Minister that together we must continue to combat terrorism and violent extremism and work to strengthen regional and global security,” the statement said.

Biden congratulated the Prime Minister on his historic election in May, which led to the first democratic transfer of power between elected governments in Pakistan’s history.

The Vice President reaffirmed the US commitment to strengthening bilateral ties in support of a strong, democratic, prosperous Pakistan, the statement said.

“The Vice President and Prime Minister also discussed many of the economic and development challenges that Pakistan faces and the steps the Prime Minister is taking to address them,” the White House said.

The Pakistani embassy said both leaders discussed “issues of mutual interest in the bilateral relationship as well as cooperation on issues of regional peace and stability.”

“Both the leaders reaffirmed their keenness to work together to maintain the positive trajectory in the bilateral relations and identified the revived Strategic Dialogue process as the ideal vehicle to further strengthen a people-centric, broad-based and mutually beneficial relationship,” it said.

They emphasised the need to focus on promoting cooperation in trade and investment, energy, education, science and technology sectors and strengthening people to people contacts to realise the true potential of the relationship, according to the embassy.

Vice President Biden appreciated Pakistan’s contribution and sacrifices in fighting the scourge of terrorism.

“He praised Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s leadership in promoting peace and stability in the region and also acknowledged Pakistan’s useful and important role in facilitating peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan,” the Pakistani statement said.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to facilitate an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process. Both leaders agreed on the need to further strengthen coordination and cooperation among Pakistan, the US and Afghanistan to ensure success of the reconciliation process.

The Prime Minister was accompanied by Advisor on National Security Sartaj Aziz, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Special Assistant Tariq Fatemi, Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani and Deputy Chief of Mission Asad Majeed Khan. The US side included American Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson and other senior officials.

Sharif, who is on a four-day visit to Washington, has had a series of high-level meetings with the top officials of the Obama Administration, including secretaries of State, Defence. Commerce, Energy and Treasury as well as the US Trade Representatives.

He has also met lawmakers and interacted with the Washington’s think tank community and the Pakistani American community.