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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Pakistani President for bridging trust-deficit with U.S

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

ISLAMABAD, Apr 28, IRNA -- Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has told a top visiting U.S. diplomat that bridging the trust-deficit between the two countries holds the key to Pakistan re-joining the counter-terrorism cooperation.

“Pakistan and the United States share many important areas where there was convergence of mutual interests. The most notable among those were the goals of stability and peace in Afghanistan and the complete defeat of Al-Qaeda,” President Zardari said in a meeting with Ambassador Marc Grossman, US Special Envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Grossman was in Islamabad for bilateral talks and to represent the U.S. in the trilateral forum, which also groups Pakistan and Afghanistan.

President Zardari reiterated Pakistan’s opposition to the U.S. drone strikes in the country’s tribal region and said Islamabad has always maintained that drone attacks were highly counter productive in the war against militants as it inflamed public sentiments due to innocent civilian casualties, Presidential spokesman, Senator Farhatullah Babar, said.

The President said that both the sides should consider setting up a framework of mechanism to find a mutually acceptable alternative to the U.S. drone strikes, the spokesman said.

He said that Pakistan wanted to re-engage with the U.S. at all levels in the light of the Parliamentary review. He said that Pakistan was committed to providing assistance to the international presence in Afghanistan . However, the international community should share the financial and economic cost of services and goods involved in the process.

The Spokesperson said that during meeting the President emphasized the need for evolving a mechanism for counter-terrorism cooperation between the two countries.

The President also emphasized early resolution of the issue of reimbursement of Coalition Support Fund (CSF) arrears. He said that CSF reimbursements were a sticking point in the relationship which needed to be addressed urgently.

Grossman thanked the President for meeting him and said that the United States respected the Parliamentary process of overview of relationship. He said that the U.S. wanted to work with Pakistan and expressed the hope that the bilateral relations would soon be back to normal.

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Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 80100696



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