US envoy in Pak to discuss all bilateral issues

Last Updated: Thursday, April 26, 2012 - 09:56

Washington: Special US Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Marc Grossman, is visiting Islamabad on Thursday to hold high level talks with the country`s top leadership on all bilateral issues.

"He (Grossman) is going on tonight (Wednesday night) to Islamabad where he will be having bilateral conversations and he will also be taking part in a core group meeting -- Afghanistan, US and Pakistan -- that will be attended for the Pakistanis by Foreign Secretary Jilani and by the Afghans, by Deputy Foreign Minister Luden," the State Department said.

Before travelling to Islamabad, Nuland said Grossman visited Brussels, Ankara and Abu Dhabi.

"He was primarily focused on support for the Afghan National Security Forces in line with the Chicago summit agenda that the Secretary laid out when she was in Brussels last week.”

"He also was yesterday in Turkey for the same purposes, in Ankara. Today, he is in Abu Dhabi, and there was also a meeting of the International Contact Group on Afghanistan in the UAE," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters at her daily news conference yesterday.

Grossman`s trip to Islamabad, she said, is in context of completion of the parliamentary review process of US-Pak relationship.

"We have begun our process of re-engaging with the Pakistani Government to work through the issues that have come up during the review.”

"So this will be an effort to really take up those issues one at a time and to see how we work through them," she said.

Last week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had talked over phone with her Pak counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar.

"It was agreed at that time that Ambassador Grossman would make a trip to Pakistan to deepen and broaden the conversation that we`ve been having.”

"I think you know that we had also had Deputy Secretary Nides in Pakistan, I think it was two weeks ago," she said.

"We had USAID Administrator Shah there, we had Generals Allen and Dempsey there. So you can see us working hard now with the Pakistanis to work through the issues," Nuland said.

Grossman would be in Pakistan till Friday and would return to Washington after that.

As of now, he had no plans to travel to Afghanistan.

"We want to hear the Pakistani Government`s presentation of where it thinks the bilateral relationship needs to go, and then we will present our views and work through the issues, as partners do," she said.

"This is a bilateral consultation about how we can improve our relationship along all of the lines that have been difficult.”

"So I don`t want to prejudge what he`s going to hear or where we`re going to go in response. But as you know, we had said that we really needed them to complete their internal work and then come back to us, give us a sense of what they think this ought to lead to, and then we can talk. So this is the talk," Nuland said.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, April 26, 2012 - 09:56

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