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US admits to tensions with Pakistan

05 November, 2013

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WASHINGTON: The United States on Monday admitted to "tensions" and occasional "misunderstandings" in its relations with Pakistan, but implicitly defended the killing of a key extremist leader in a drone strike.

"There inevitably will be some tensions and occasional misunderstandings between our two countries," White House spokesman Jay Carney said."We hope to continue to make progress in the relationship, and we continue to seek ways for our countries to cooperate on the entire range of shared interests that we have, from economic to security issues."

Carney would not confirm the drone strike that killed Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Hakimullah Mehsud, in line with normal practice in such attacks, but he said the TTP leader had a long list of extremist credentials, including a failed bombing in Times Square, New York, in 2010.

Carney charged that Mehsud and other TTP leaders had "publicly vowed to continue targeting the United States and Americans."Mehsud was also wanted in connection with the killings of seven Americans at a US base in Khost province, Afghanistan. –- AFP

Reuters adds from Riyadh: Meanwhile, US Secretary of State John Kerry said that the US looks forward to working very closely with the government of Pakistan while he argued that a huge number of Pakistanis have died at the hands of Hakimullah Mahsud and his terrorist organisation.

Kerry said, "We intend to continue to work together with them (Pakistanis) through the strategic dialogue that we have established in order to work through these kinds of challenges." He defended the drone strike that killed the TTP chief but added that Washington was sensitive to any Pakistani concerns, after Islamabad denounced the attack as a blow to peace talks.

Of Mahsud, Kerry said: "This is a man who absolutely is known to have targeted and killed many Americans, many Afghans and many Pakistanis."

End.

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