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Clinton to travel to Pakistan soon

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will soon visit Pakistan to have a 'strategic in-depth discussions' with the country's leadership and send her Special Representative Mark Grossman to prepare the ground work for her trip, a senior official said.

world Updated: May 17, 2011 07:56 IST

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will soon visit Pakistan to have a 'strategic in-depth discussions' with the country's leadership and send her Special Representative Mark Grossman to prepare the ground work for her trip, a senior official said.

"The Secretary does plan to visit Pakistan in order to have an in-depth strategic discussion about our cooperation and to convey the US Government's views on the way forward of Pakistan," State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters.

The dates of Clinton's travel to Pakistan have not been announced yet.

"She will go when she can have those discussions in the right context and with the right preparation, and we are engaged right now with the Pakistanis to lay that groundwork," Toner said.

In the last 24 hours, he said, Clinton spoke to Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari; Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani and Army chief Ashfaq Pervez Kayani.

"I understand that Special Representative Marc Grossman will be heading to Pakistan and he will also continue those discussions and, as I said, he will continue to lay the groundwork for the Secretary's eventual visit," he said.

Grossman is likely to leave this week.

Without going into the substance of the telephone calls, Toner said Clinton talked about the current state of play and where they are at and also about a way forward in the relationship.

"Obviously, as we have said here and from the White House and as well as Capitol Hill, that Osama bin Laden's whereabouts raised some concerns and questions, and we are trying to move on to address those questions as well as move forward with the relationship, because we feel it's in the interest of both the countries," the spokesman said.