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Pak-US ties "too important" to turn back on: Clinton

London , Fri, 24 Feb 2012 ANI

London, Feb 24 (ANI): US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that Pakistan was too important for Washington to turn its back on.


Clinton made this comment after having talks for an hour and a half with her Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar on the sidelines of a London conference on Somalia, in a first step towards normalising relations that were strained after NATO air strikes killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November last year.


Clinton said there would still be "ups and downs" in the relationship, but neither side could afford to shun the other.


"Building and sustaining a relationship based on mutual interest and mutual respect takes constant care and work, from both sides," The Express Tribune quoted Clinton, as saying.


"I'm sure we will continue to have our ups and downs. But this relationship is simply too important to turn our back on - for both nations. And we both remain committed to continue working to improve understanding and cooperation," she added.


Relations between Pakistan and the United States were severely damaged last year by a covert American raid that killed former al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, followed by ATO air strikes on soldiers.


Clinton and Khar reportedly discussed tackling violent extremism, supporting Afghan-led reconciliation and improving ties between Washington and Islamabad. (ANI)


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