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Pakistan, US to work on counter terrorism, boost border cooperation

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, Oct 22, IRNA -- American Special Representative Ambassador Marc Grossman says the U.S. will continue to work with Pakistan 'to counter terrorism in the region.’

Ambassador Grossman met with Pakistan Foreign Minister Khar and Army Chief, General Kayani in Islamabad to continue the conversation of how best the United States and Pakistan can work together to identify ‘our shared interests and act on them jointly,’ the US embassy in Islamabad said on Sunday.

'We have many shared interests, including terrorism, supporting a stable and secure Afghanistan, increasing market access and economic opportunity, and supporting civilian democracy, tolerance, pluralism, and civil society.'

Ambassador Grossman expressed his appreciation for Pakistan's support for an Afghan political process, including through the US-Afghanistan-Pakistan Core Group,

'We want to work together to find ways to cooperate to make Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the region secure, stable, and prosperous,' the embassy statement quoted the special envoy as saying after the meetings. He said Pakistan and the US will also continue 'important coordination' on the border to check the movement of the militants.

He described as frank, honest, and respectful his talks with Pakistani leaders and said the 'conversations we had are essential to furthering the vital relationship between the United States and Pakistan and to ensuring our shared security and economic prosperity.'

Ambassador Grossman’s visit follows recent engagements, including Secretary Clinton’s meetings with Foreign Minister Khar in Washington and President Zardari in New York in September, as well as the recent US-Pakistan Law Enforcement and Counterterrorism Working Group convened in Washington DC earlier this month.

Ambassador Grossman said on Saturday that Washington is not pushing Islamabad to launch military operation against the militants in restive North Waziristan tribal region.

Grossman, who arrived for a two-day visit in Pakistan on Saturday, told Pakistan's state-run television that the decision on Waziristan offensive will be taken by Pakistan itself.

The comments came at a time when local media and some ministers hinted at a military operation against the militants in North Waziristan following Taliban attack on a 14-year schoolgirl.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 80381152

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