Obama reviews efforts to renew Pakistan ties: Daily

February 10th, 2012 - 1:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Islamabad, Feb 10 (IANS) US President Barack Obama has reviewed with his national security team efforts to improve ties with Pakistan, a Pakistani daily reported Friday.

At a meeting held Wednesday, Obama received an update on America’s “engagement with the Pakistani government on a range of issues of mutual interest, including efforts to strengthen cooperation along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border”, the Dawn quoted a White House statement as saying.

US media reports have indicated that both countries were trying “vigorously” to reduce tensions that have affected their relationship for more than a year now.

US sources told Dawn that the White House has been regularly consulting Pakistani ambassador in Washington, Sherry Rehman, on many issues.

Recently, Rehman and a defence team from Pakistan met the head of the US Central Command, Gen. James N. Mattis, at the Pakistani embassy.

The New York Times later reported that Mattis would visit Islamabad later in February for talks with Pakistani military officials.

It also said he might convey an official apology on the Nov 26 NATO attack on a Pakistani border post that killed 24 soldiers.

Pakistan has long demanded such an apology as an important step towards improving ties.

Rehman also met Senator John Kerry, considered the Obama administration’s unofficial envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Asked for comments, Rehman said both sides were eager to leave behind the bitterness of the past year and move ahead with new zeal.

“Pakistan is still reviewing the full spectrum of its relations with the US in a historic parliamentary review, which will anchor forthcoming decisions in the solid background of public consent,” she was quoted as saying.

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