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US welcomes Pak efforts to fix ties

Pakistan prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s statement to rebuild strained ties with US has been welcomed by Washington which said the bilateral relations were vital to their national security interests.

world Updated: Dec 07, 2011 00:56 IST

Pakistan prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s statement to rebuild strained ties with US has been welcomed by Washington which said the bilateral relations were vital to their national security interests.

Gilani’s comments came days after US President Barack Obama called his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari and expressed his condolence over the death of 24 Pakistani soldiers in a Nato air strike last week and said the “regrettable” incident was not a “deliberate attack”.

“We, of course, welcome Prime Minister Gilani’s positive statements on the US-Pakistani relationship,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters at his daily news briefing on Monday.

He said from the very moments after cross border firing incident, the US has been clear that “this is a relationship that’s vital to US national security interests.

Gilani said on Monday he believes “it won’t take long” to achieve a new relationship with the old ally.

Pakistan pulls out of liaison posts

Pakistan on Tuesday temporarily recalled some troops from border posts meant to coordinate activity with international forces in Afghanistan.

The troops were pulled back for “consultation” on how to improve coordination with Nato and should be back at their posts within the next few days, said Pakistan army spokesman Maj Gen Athar Abbas.

The decision, however, highlighted current problems with coordination because US military officials seemed to think it was another retaliatory move by Pakistan for the Nato strikes.

The officials feared it would hamper efforts to liaise with Pakistani forces and increase the risk for another misunderstanding.