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U.S. says fight against extremism 'shared goal' with Pakistan

RIA Novosti

06:57 20/10/2009 MOSCOW, October 20 (RIA Novosti) - The United States trusts the government of Pakistan as both countries have a shared goal of fighting extremism, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of State said.

Pakistani soldiers killed 60 militants since last week, when a large-scale ground operation started against the Taliban in South Waziristan.

"I think that we have a shared goal here, and the shared goal is fighting violent extremism... I think that we have full faith in the government of Pakistan. I think that they've turned a corner as well in their democratic development, and so we support them in their efforts," Ian Kelly told a daily press briefing in Washington.

"One of the major reasons that we are supporting these efforts [in Pakistan] is to help us reach success in Afghanistan as well," he added.

The Pakistani forces have lost six servicemen and 12 have been wounded in the battle near the Afghan border that started on Saturday and reportedly involves about 28,000 Pakistani soldiers and some 10,000 Taliban militants.

The assault against the Pakistan-based Taliban, led by Hakimullah Mehsud, comes after days of militant violence across the country, in which up to 150 people have died.

U.S. President Barack Obama signed legislation last Thursday providing Pakistan with $7.5 billion in aid over the next five years. Some of the funds are conditional on Pakistan fighting Taliban militants.

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