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Friday
Jul152011

Gen. Petraeus Tries Improving US Relations with Pakistan

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(ISLAMABAD) -- Before leaving his command of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, Gen. David Petraeus spent Thursday trying to mend fences with Pakistan.

Petraeus, the newly-confirmed CIA director, met with the Pakistani Army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, in hopes of smoothing over a very rough patch in relations between Washington and Islamabad that was exacerbated by the U.S. Navy SEALS raid in Pakistan last May that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

The Pakistani military and government were not informed about the operation beforehand, which increased already mounting tensions between the two uneasy allies in the battle against Islamic radicals.

A statement issued by the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad said that the meeting, which also included Petraeus' successor in Afghanistan, Lt. Gen. John Allen, covered "various topics of mutual interest and ways to improve regional security."

However, relations aren't expected to be repaired overnight, given that Washington wants to hold back $800 million of the $2 billion in annual assistance it provides to the Pakistani military, while Islamabad is still resistant to U.S. demands that it make a more concerted effort to break the back of Taliban and al Qaeda militancy still active in their country.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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