US defends strike, admits tension with Pakistan
Baitullah Mehsud, the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader who was involved in the killings of seven Americans at a US base in Khost province, died in a drone strike in North Waziristan on Friday.
The latest strike, which came on the eve of talks between the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Taliban, drew an angry reaction from Islamabad. Interior Minister Ch. Nisar Ali Khan accused the US of sabotaging the planned peace talks.
But according to foreign media reports, White House spokesman Jay Carney tended to defend the drone strike, acknowledging tensions and occasional misunderstandings in US relations with Pakistan.
The news agency AFP quoted Carney as telling reporters on Monday: "There inevitably will be some tensions and occasional misunderstandings between our two countries."
However, he hastened to add: "We hope to continue to make progress in the relationship, and we continue to seek ways for our countries to cooperate on the entire range of shared interests that we have, from economic to security issues."
Currently on a visit to Saudi Arabia, Secretary of State John Kerry also defended the strike, saying the US was sensitive to any Pakistani concerns.
He added: “We intend to continue to work together with them (Pakistanis) through the strategic dialogue that we have established in order to work through these kinds of challenges.”
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