WASHINGTON DC: The US State Department spokesperson, Victoria Nuland, on Tuesday said that following the passage of the defence authorisation act, the United States would now have to certify that cooperation is going well in order to release military funds. It's essentially a continuation of some of the issues that we've had before.
The spokesperson said that the United States was still talking to the Government of Pakistan at “all levels.”
“Following the New Year holiday, our ambassador Cameron Munter's been back in touch with the Pakistanis. We want to get back to normal and get into a full counterterrorism relationship again. We think that's important not only for US security but for Pakistani security and for the security of the entire region. So those conversations will continue,” said Nuland.
The spokesperson, when asked about President Zardari’s statement that Pakistan would go ahead with the Iran pipeline deal despite US reservations, said “we've made absolutely clear over many months now our concerns about this deal, and we will continue to talk to Pakistan about it. You know, were it to go forward, how it might be impacted - again, this is the kind of conversation that we have to have with Pakistan and that we're starting to have now.”
Talk in the State Department briefing also turned towards the memogate case and the fallout from the resignation of former ambassador Husain Haqqani. While the State Department spokesperson said that they had been following the matter, she stated maintained that it was an internal matter for Pakistan.
When a reporter at the briefing pressed further, the spokesperson added. “With regard to this case, with regard to other judicial proceedings in Pakistan, that we want to see judicial proceedings go forward in accordance with the Pakistani constitution, including the protections on citizens' rights, and in accordance with international law.”
Asked about aid figures released by the Foreign Office and that Pakistan had not received Coalition Support Funds since June 2010, and only $400 million from Kerry-Lugar-Berman bill funds in 2011, the spokesperson said that while she did not have the exact figures, “You do know that some of the money on the military-to-military side, it was difficult to spend because some of those programs had been suspended and because of the state of the relationship in counterterrorism cooperation. We've talked about that at length.”
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