Clinton: US must keep strategic ties with Pakistan

May 26, 2011 19:27


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PARIS - Working with Pakistan is a strategic necessity for the United States, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Thursday, even as she pressed Islamabad to act more decisively on counter-terrorism.

Praising Pakistan as "a good partner" in global efforts to fight terrorism, Clinton sought to blunt US anger at the discovery that al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden lived there for years before US commandos killed him in a raid on May 2.

US lawmakers, skeptical that Pakistani officials did not know of bin Laden's presence, want to cut US aid to Pakistan, which the White House views as vital to counter-terrorism and to hopes of stabilizing neighboring Afghanistan.

Clinton acknowledged that the two countries have disagreed on how hard to fight al-Qaida, Afghan Taliban fighters and other militants, but made clear she saw no choice but to work with Pakistan, saying it would overcome "these near-term challenges".

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