The United States welcomes Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's decision to proceed with elections, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said Thursday.
"We think it is a good thing that President Musharraf has clarified the election date for the Pakistani people," Perino saidin a statement.
The White House made the statement hours after Musharraf announced that the general elections would be held by Feb. 15 next year.
Musharraf, who was re-elected as Pakistan's president in early October, also said that he would quit as the army chief before taking oath as president.
U.S. President George W. Bush discussed the situation by telephone with Musharraf on Wednesday, telling him to hold elections as scheduled and quit as army chief.
"My message was very plain, very easy to understand. And that is: The United States wants you to have the elections as scheduled and take your uniform off," Bush told reporters.
"You can't be the president and the head of the military at the same time," he said.
Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency in the country Saturday and issued a provisional constitutional order, citing increases in extremist activity and terrorist attacks and abuse by the judiciary in the country.