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US trying to repair Pakistan ties: envoy

US trying to repair Pakistan ties: envoy

Dec 12, 2011 - 19:46

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): The US deputy special envoy to Afghanistaninfo-icon and Pakistaninfo-icon said on Monday the Obama administration was trying to repair its relationship with Pakistan.

The already strained relations between Islamabad and Washington further soured after a cross-border attack by NATOinfo-icon-led international forces killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in the Momand tribal region on November 26.

"We are seriously talking to Pakistan to resolve the issue, which has created problems and a discussion was underway to improve the relationship," Beth Jones told a conference in Kabul.

On November 27, Islamabad closed a key supply route for foreign troops stationed in Afghanistan, and ordered the US to vacate the Shamsi airbase in southwestern Balochistan province.

They were investigating the airstrike in the Salala area, the diplomat said, adding: "Pakistan asked the US to leave Shamsi base in Balochistan and we did the same."

With a key role in bringing security to the region, Pakistan could be a good friend to the US, she believed. President Barak Obama had telephoned to his Pakistani counterpart and high-level work to restore the relations was underway, she reiterated.

Also present at the conference was US Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker, who referred to the strategic cooperation agreement and said progress had been made toward finalising the deal.

"We don't want to leave Afghanistan alone and will not repeat the mistakes of 1990s. We will support Afghanistan for a long time; it will be reflected in the strategic pact. We don't know when it will be signed but considerable progress has been made," he said.


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