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"It's vital because, as we have said, that lopping the head off the snake is important, but the body, while battered and bruised because of the actions that have been taken over the years, is still there and we need to bury that body. We need to keep the fight up against al Qaeda. And Pakistan is very important partner in that effort," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters.
"It's a complicated but important relationship," he said.
On Tuesday, Pakistan called the US commando operation in Abbottabad that killed bin Laden an "unauthorised, unilateral action" without its knowledge.
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"We are working very hard on that relationship and it is an important and complicated relationship that has been tested in many ways over the years and even this year," he said.
"But we are in communication directly with the Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and other senior members of the government and we are committed to continuing the cooperation that we've had because it is so important both to our fight against the Al Qaeda, but also Pakistan's. And I think we remain confident that that cooperation will continue," he added.
"We have been in contact at many levels with the Pakistan government. The US President called Zardari the night of the operation, before he spoke to the American people," he said.
Pakistan provided useful intelligence and cooperation over the years, and provided assistance that helped the US build the mountain of information that it needed to build in order to find bin Laden and execute this mission.
"I would just say that it's an important partnership, and Pakistan has been on the frontlines, in many ways, of the fight against the Al Qaeda and against terrorists. Pakistanis have suffered in large numbers at the hands of terrorists, and the government has provided useful and important assistance and cooperation to us in the years of this struggle against terrorism," Carney said.
"I think it's a question of the interests that we share and the cooperation that we've forged. It's a complicated relationship. There's no question. And we do have our differences," he said.
"I think it's important to note that there are many people in Pakistan and there are many people in the Pakistan government, so it is I think -- you have to be careful about tarring everyone either in the country or the government,
because they have provided extremely useful assistance over the years. And we look forward to cooperating with Pakistan going into the future," Carney said.