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US assures Pak of security assistance package

world Updated: Mar 25, 2010 09:49 IST

The Obama Administration's goal is to provide a multi-year security assistance package to Pakistan, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said and termed the demand for nuclear deal as one of the several "complicated" issues with Islamabad.

"I was pleased to inform the Foreign Minister (Qureshi) that our goal is a multi-year security assistance package, including foreign military financing, based upon identified mutual strategic objectives, which would further strengthen our long-term partnership with Pakistan," Clinton said.

She was addressing a joint press conference with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi at the end of the first of two days of a high-level strategic dialogue between the two countries.

"We of course will work closely with Congress to further develop this commitment," she said, adding the high-powered delegations from the two countries also discussed the importance of working on a multi-year basis with regard to resource planning.

Clinton, however, evaded a direct reply when asked whether the Obama Administration was prepared to discuss a civilian nuclear deal with Pakistan.

"We have a broad agenda, with many complicated issues, like the one you referred to. Discussions are continuing through tomorrow. While I will not go into details of our bilateral conversation, we've said that we will listen to and engage with our Pakistani partners on whatever issues the delegation raises. We're committed to helping Pakistan meet its real energy needs," Clinton replied.

Earlier in the day, Qureshi made a pitch foar the civilian nuclear deal by seeking "non-discriminatory access to vital energy resources" as Pakistan struggles to overcome massive power cuts.

Clinton said she is working together to ensure that Pakistanis have access to affordable and reliable power, which is essential to funding economic development.