Many 'Challenges' in Ties with Pakistan - US

By Arun Kumar

Washington, June 14 (IANS) The United States has acknowledged that its relationship with Islamabad has many "challenges" in the light of Osama bin Laden's location deep inside Pakistan, but says it's also in both countries' long-term national security interest.

"Obviously, I'm not going to comment on the substance of that story, given that it touches on intelligence issues and matters," State Department spokesman told reporters Monday when asked about a media report that information about terrorist bomb-making factories given to Pakistan was being leaked.

"I'll just say that we've been consistent in saying that our relationship with Pakistan has many challenges, but it's also in both our countries' long-term national security interest, and we've also shared many successes," he said.

As President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton "have said, there's been more terrorists killed and captured in Pakistan then anywhere in the world, and that couldn't have been done without Pakistan's cooperation," Toner said.

Asked to specify the challenges in relations with Pakistan, the spokesman said: "I think everyone . recognizes some of the challenges in the relationship, especially in light of bin Laden - his whereabouts."

"We're taking steps to address those," Toner said recalling a "series of visits, trips to Pakistan, rather, by senior government officials, including Secretary Clinton."

"And each of them have pledged our commitment to work through these challenges with Pakistan and move the relationship forward," he said.


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Title: Many 'Challenges' in Ties with Pakistan - US

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