Clinton to visit Pakistan for security talks: Holbrooke | world | Hindustan Times
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Clinton to visit Pakistan for security talks: Holbrooke

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will attend high-level security talks in Pakistan before heading to a July 20 Afghanistan donors conference, special envoy Richard Holbrooke has said.

world Updated: Jul 15, 2010 14:19 IST

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will attend high-level security talks in Pakistan before heading to a July 20 Afghanistan donors conference, special envoy Richard Holbrooke has said.

The State Department had previously announced that Clinton would visit South Korea and Vietnam this week before heading to Kabul.

Holbrooke told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in prepared testimony that he would join Clinton "when she reconvenes the US-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue in Islamabad and
leads the US delegation to the Kabul Conference."

"While the Kabul Conference has attracted more international attention, the secretary's visit to Islamabad will be equally significant," as part of an ongoing effort to
improve US-Pakistan ties, he said.

"During her upcoming visit to Pakistan, Secretary Clinton will reconvene the Strategic Dialogue with Foreign Minister (Shah Mehmood) Qureshi to assess growing cooperation
on topics ranging from energy and water, to education and health, to counter-terrorism and defense issues," said Holbrooke.

"She will also meet with a range of senior Pakistani officials to encourage closer collaboration in areas of mutual interest," said the diplomat, Washington's special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The US State Department had previously announced that Clinton would attend a donors conference in Kabul as part of the largest gathering of foreign leaders in the war-ravaged nation since the 1970s.

The July 20 conference is a bid by Afghan government officials to urge a start to the spending of billions of dollars of pledged development funds.

Officials will present 70 donors with their long-term national development strategy, following a donors' meeting in London in January.

In Hanoi, Clinton will participate in a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and will hold bilateral talks during a stop in Seoul, State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said.