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Malala Yousafzai meets with the Obamas in the Oval Office


President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, and their daughter, Malia, meet with Malala Yousafzai in the Oval Office. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Malala Yousafzai may not have won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, but she enjoyed a private Oval Office audience with President Obama and the first family.

Yousafzai, the 16-year-old Pakistani student who was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen for speaking out in support of the right of girls to go to school, met Friday with Obama and his wife, Michelle. A photograph issued by the White House shows the Obamas' 15-year-old daughter, Malia, also present during the visit.

The Obamas welcomed Yousafzai to the Oval Office "to thank her for her inspiring and passionate work on behalf of girls education in Pakistan," according to a statement issued by the White House.

The statement added, "The United States joins with the Pakistani people and so many around the world to celebrate Malala's courage and her determination to promote the right of all girls to attend school and realize their dreams."

Yousafzai said she was honored to meet Obama and that she raised concerns with him about the administration's use of drones, saying they are "fueling terrorism."

"I thanked President Obama for the United States' work in supporting education in Pakistan and Afghanistan and for Syrian refugees," Yousafzai said in a statement published by the Associated Press. "I also expressed my concerns that drone attacks are fueling terrorism. Innocent victims are killed in these acts, and they lead to resentment among the Pakistani people. If we refocus efforts on education it will make a big impact."

The Pakistani teen was in Washington on Friday for an address at the World Bank, part of her U.S. visit to promote her new memoir, "I Am Malala."

Philip Rucker is a national political correspondent for The Washington Post, where he has reported since 2005.

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