Thu, 01 Aug 2013 10:30:00 GMT | By Reuters

US, Pak agree to restart strategic dialogue: Kerry

The US Secretary of State says the two countries are serious about overcoming past irritants; while Pakistan wants an end to drone attacks on its territory

US, Pak agree to restart strategic dialogue: Kerry (© Reuters)

Islamabad: US Secretary of State John Kerry agreed with Pakistani officials on Thursday to restart strategic talks after relations deteriorated sharply following a 2011 NATO air attack in which 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed.

Speaking alongside Sartaj Aziz, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's advisor on foreign affairs, Kerry told reporters the two sides were serious about overcoming past irritants.
As for the future of US-led troops in neighbouring Afghanistan, Kerry said: "We are drawing down, not withdrawing." He said he was confident the United States would reach agreement on future troop levels with Afghanistan in a timely way.

Aziz said Pakistan wanted the United States to end drone strikes aimed at militants on its territory. "Drone attacks are counterproductive to our relationship," he said.

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