WASHINGTON: The White House said Tuesday that the resignation of Pakistan's ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, was an "internal issue" for Pakistan but praised him as "a very close partner."
"We, as we have said, see this very much as an internal issue relative to Pakistan," Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes told reporters.
"He's been a very close partner, of course, with the United States and we've appreciated the work we've done with him. But at the same time we're certain that we'll be able to work with whomever the next Pakistani ambassador is."
Pakistan's government said earlier that it had asked Haqqani to resign and ordered a probe into claims that he sought American help against the country's military.
Haqqani, a close aide of President Asif Ali Zardari, has played a key role in helping Pakistan's civilian government navigate turbulent relations with Washington which nosedived over the US raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry, who has played a key role in often rocky relations between the two uneasy allies, said in a statement he was "sorry to learn" of Haqqani's resignation.
"He was a strong advocate for his country and the Pakistani people. I respect the Pakistani government's decision, but Ambassador Haqqani's wisdom and insights will be missed here in Washington as we continue to work through the ups and downs of our relationship," said the Democratic lawmaker.
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