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Gilani identifies areas for cooperation with US

Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani today identified strengthening the capacity of law enforcement agencies and fast tracking of economic and military aid and power generation as areas in which progress can be made in the forthcoming round of the Pakistan-US Strategic Dialogue.

world Updated: Mar 20, 2010 22:00 IST

Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani today identified strengthening the capacity of law enforcement agencies and fast tracking of economic and military aid and power generation as areas in which progress can be made in the forthcoming round of the Pakistan-US Strategic Dialogue.



Gilani made the remarks during a meeting with US Ambassador Anne Patterson ahead of the fourth round of the Strategic Dialogue to be held in Washington on March 24.



Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will head the Pakistani delegation to the talks. He has said the issue of strategic stability between Pakistan and India will be taken up during the dialogue.



Gilani expressed the hope that the parleys would be successful in achieving "concrete results and tangible goals set by both sides".



He identified power generation, water conservation, education, strengthening the capacity of Pakistan's law enforcement agencies through training and provision of equipment and fast-tracking of economic assistance committed through the Kerry Lugar Act, Coalition Support Fund and foreign military funding as areas in which progress can be made by the two sides, an official statement said.



Pakistan has been pressing the US to speed up the release of reimbursements for its expenses on the war on terror from the Coalition Support Fund.



The issue has emerged as an irritant between the two countries.



Gilani said Pakistan will "adopt a realistic and pragmatic approach during the talks and would like to follow up on the discussions in Washington through concerted efforts by both sides".



Pakistan will also like to convene the fifth round of the Strategic Dialogue in Islamabad "as soon as possible to pursue the progress on negotiations on other vital areas of envisaged cooperation", he said.



The premier said he was also looking forward to his meeting with President Barack Obama in Washington on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit in April to "pursue the implementation of decisions and carry forward discussions of the fourth round of the Strategic Dialogue".



Patterson told Gilani that the US "has not had this level of Strategic Dialogue with any other country" and was taking every possible step to make it a success.



Gilani and Patterson discussed ongoing cooperation between the two sides in various fields and the regional situation.



They expressed satisfaction at their "ever strengthening bilateral cooperation in the ongoing campaign against terror", the statement said.