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US to work closely with new Pakistan Govt

world Updated: Mar 25, 2008 09:31 IST

The Bush administration has said it is looking forward to work closely with the new Pakistan government to be headed by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani, who seemed certain to challenge embattled US ally President Pervez Musharraf.

"We look forward to working with the new government in Pakistan. We've had good relations with them over the past. We hope that continues. There's lots of different areas where we can cooperate -- not just counter terrorism, but across the board," the White House Press Secretary Dana Perino said.

Pakistan's lower house of parliament on Monday elected the 55-year-old PPP leader, a Bhutto loyalist, to head the incoming coalition government.

Soon after his election to the post, Gillani took on Pervez Musharraf and ordered release of judges sacked and detained by the President during Emergency rule last year.

However, the State department Spokesman Sean McCormack said that the United States and Pakistan will continue to find common ground on a broad range of issues.

"This (Gillani becoming PM) was the selection of the Pakistani political leadership and people. We look forward to work with Gilani and his government. I don't believe that the rest of the government has been named at this point, but Secretary Rice will look forward to work with her counterpart, as Pakistan is a good friend and ally, and we have a whole variety of mutual, overlapping interests. Look forward to working with them," the Spokesman said.

"Beyond that, I don't know that there's much more to add other than our congratulations to his election as prime minister," McCormack added.