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US statements souring ties must stop: Zardari

09 November, 2011

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari said on Tuesday that Pakistan and the US must restrain from uncalled-for public criticism as this undermines efforts to work closely for shared goals.

Zardari made the remarks during talks with a delegation of US Congressmen led by Republican Michael McCaul in Karachi. They discussed bilateral relations, the strategic dialogue, the war against terror, the situation in Afghanistan and the overall regional situation, the president's office said in a statement, Xinhua reported.

Zardari called for mutual understanding of each other's point of view to avoid misunderstandings and negative impressions that would potentially endanger the close working relationship at this critical hour, the statement said.

The president said Pakistan regarded trade rather than aid as a solution to the weak and depressed economy. He called for expediting legislation in the US for the Reconstruction Opportunity Zones (ROZs), terming these crucial for creating jobs for the people of the militancy-hit areas.

Zardari said that combined impact of war on terror and the recent natural calamities have adversely affected Pakistan's economy.

He reiterated Pakistan's stance of its abiding interest in restoration of stability and peace in Afghanistan, saying Pakistan continues to support all efforts towards realizing permanent peace, stability and development in Afghanistan.

Michael McCaul said that the US will continue to support the government of Pakistan in its efforts to promote peace and stability in the region.

The US congressmen appreciated Pakistan's efforts to normalize relations with its neighbours and its decision to extend Most Favored Nation status to India.

End.

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