Wednesday, December 7, 2011

US welcomes Gilani's U turn Pak-US ties

US welcomes Gilani's overtures towards rebuilding Pak-US ties

Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's statement to rebuild strained ties with US has been welcomed by Washington which said the bilateral relations were vital to their national security interests.

Gilani's comments came days after US President Barack Obama called his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari and expressed his condolence over the death of 24 Pakistani soldiers in a NATO air strike last week and said the "regrettable" incident was not a "deliberate attack".
"We, of course, welcome Prime Minister Gilani's positive statements on the US-Pakistani relationship," State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters at his daily news briefing yesterday.
He said from the very moments after cross border firing incident, the US has been clear that "this is a relationship that's vital to US national security interests".
"It's vital to Pakistan's national security interests; it's vital to the region's interests that we work together productively; and that we're committed to addressing the issues between us and moving forward," Toner said.
Gilani yesterday said he believes "it won't take long" to achieve a new relationship with the old ally.
Responding to questions about Pakistan's absence from the Bonn conference, Toner said the US has been pretty clear that it wanted Pakistan to be a part of this conference.
"They made the decision not to attend, but going forward, we're going to work with Pakistan as an essential partner in that region's future," he said.
He said it is "pretty clear" that it was in Pakistan's interest to participate in Bonn.
"Obviously there was this incident of a couple weeks ago now that led to the deaths of Pakistani soldiers. It was a terrible tragedy. There's an investigation under way," he said.
"We've been very clear all along that we, while expressing our deepest sympathies over this tragedy, are committed to this relationship and working to make it better at every level," he said in response to a question.

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