WASHINGTON: The US-Pakistan relationship has challenges but remains strategically vital and the American special envoy for the region had productive meetings in Islamabad this week, the State Department said.
“We have said all along that we recognise that there are challenges in our relationship with Pakistan, but it’s in both our strategic; both countries’ strategic interest to work through those challenges and to build a long-term partnership,” State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner said.
Without going into specifics, the spokesman said during Special Representative Marc Grossman’s visit to Islamabad the two sides reaffirmed their commitment to shared interests in the region.
“In his meetings, in general, the two sides reaffirmed their commitment to the shared interest of our two countries and acting on those interests in a joint way,” Toner said.
Besides holding meetings with top Pakistani officials, Grossman also participated in the fourth core group meeting of Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States.
“He also met with the core group to discuss the process of Afghan-led reconciliation, as well as regional economic development along the vision of the new Silk Road that Secretary (Hillary) Clinton laid out in Chennai. So it was a very productive set of meetings”, he said.
Responding to a question about the movement of American diplomats in Pakistan, the spokesman echoed Grossman’s comments, saying they are able to carry out their work.
“He (Grossman) said that American diplomats are free to travel, that there are certain regulations and requirements that the Pakistani Government has informed us about, and we’ll try to figure out how to meet those. But, in the short term, our diplomats are able to carry out their work and we’re – as he said, we’re certain that we’re going to be able to work through these issues.”