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Clinton Seeks to Mend Ties with Pakistan

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TEHRAN, May 28 (ICANA) - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has held meetings with senior Pakistani officials in Islamabad as the rift deepens between the two countries over fight against terrorism.
Saturday, May 28, 2011 4:17:43 PM
Clinton Seeks to Mend Ties with Pakistan

The visit comes as ties between Islamabad and Washington remain tense over the attack that allegedly killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad town near the Pakistani capital earlier in May.

The trip is said to be aimed at mending relations with Pakistan. Islamabad and Washington have been uneasy allies in the so-called American-led war on terror.

Clinton was accompanied by Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen during her seven-hour previously unannounced trip to Pakistan.

"This was an especially important visit because we have reached a turning point. Osama bin Laden is dead but al-Qaeda and his syndicate of terror remain a serious threat to us both," she said.

“There is a momentum toward political reconciliation in Afghanistan but the insurgency continues to operate from safe havens here in Pakistan," she added.

Clinton also warned Islamabad that anti-Americanism and conspiracy theories do not solve the problems facing Pakistan.

She added that Pakistan must show renewed commitment to US security interests.

The visit comes as the administration of US President Barack Obama is divided over the future of its relations with Pakistan.

US officials accuse Islamabad of having connections with militant groups. Some White House officials have recently suggested that Islamabad was aware of bin Laden's location and demand a strong response.

But others believe any retaliatory measure would jeopardize Pakistan's help which is crucial to America's military operations in Afghanistan.

Pakistan has warned that the repetition of such operations could have dire consequences for peace and security in the region and the world.

Pakistani lawmakers have recently called for an independent probe into the raid, which the country's parliament described as a unilateral action and a violation of Pakistan's sovereignty.

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