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Pakistan, US to hold talks on new terms of engagement

Pakistan,International, Tue, 17 Apr 2012 IANS

Islamabad, April 17 (IANS) Pakistan will hold talks with the US on "new terms of engagements", the foreign ministry said Tuesday.


This follows last week's parliamentary approval of fresh guidelines for the country in its troubled relationship with Washington. The guidelines were framed in the wake of last November's NATO air strike on Pakistani border posts that killed 24 soldiers.


Relationship between the two allies had been at the lowest ebb since the NATO raid, which had also led to suspension of high-level contacts for months. The contacts were revived late last month, reported Xinhua.



US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar Monday night and "discussed bilateral relations and agreed to broaden engagements for pursuit of agreed objectives", the foreign ministry said.


Foreign Minister Khar told Clinton that Pakistan would "welcome a US delegation to continue the dialogue process on new terms of engagement".



No dates have been announced for the talks.


Official sources said that the US Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Marc Grossman, is likely to visit Pakistan shortly.


"They also discussed the recent terrorist attacks in Kabul and expressed their commitment to closely work for peace and stability in Afghanistan," said a foreign ministry statement.


Khar told Clinton that the parliamentary process offered an unprecedented opportunity to build a transparent relationship based on mutual respect, the foreign ministry said.


Khar and Clinton talked over the phone ahead of the meeting of Pakistan's top civilian and military leaders, who are expected to make a final decision on the reopening of supply line to NATO troops in Afghanistan.


Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani will preside over the meeting of the Defence Committee of the Cabinet (DCC) Wednesday, officials said.


The meeting has been called days after parliament unanimously approved a resolution for re-setting the country's strained relations with the US.



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