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Pak has paid biggest price in Afghan conflict: Zardari

September 25, 2012 11:22 IST

Pointing that Pakistan has paid the biggest price for conflict in Afghanistan, President Asif Ali Zardari told US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that peace and stability in his country were tied to a peaceful and stable Afghanistan.

Zardari met US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in New York on Monday on the sidelines of the 67th session of the UN General Assembly.

According to a news release issued by Pakistan's mission to the UN, Zardari and Clinton had an in-depth conversation on the way forward in bilateral relations.

The two discussed the situation in Afghanistan and how Pakistan and the US could cooperate in helping bring peace and stability in the war-torn country.

"No country has paid a higher price for the conflict in Afghanistan than Pakistan," the release quoted Zardari as saying. He said Pakistan was prepared to do everything in its power to help an Afghan owned and Afghan led reconciliation process, the release said.

He conveyed to Clinton that peace and stability in Pakistan were tied to peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Clinton reiterated the desire of US government to continue working with Pakistan for further strengthening bilateral relations and for peace, stability and socio-economic development of the region.

Zardari, who will address the 193-member General Assembly on Tuesday, was accompanied by Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and Pakistan's Ambassador to the US Sherry Rehman.

The two leaders also reviewed recent developments in bilateral ties including the opening of the Ground Lines of Communications, high level contacts between the two sides and signing of MOU on the upgradation of the Peshawar Torkham road.

"We should build on the positive momentum," the Pakistani President told Clinton.

The supply routes into Afghanistan were reopened by Pakistan after Clinton had in July offered her "deepest regrets" for the deadly cross border attack by NATO last November that had killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

Pakistan had closed the crucial supply routes following the attack and had demanded the Washington apologise for the NATO attack.

The air raid had brought ties between the two countries to new lows after relations soured following the US raid in Pakistan's Abbottabad town in May that had killed Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

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