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Khar to arrive in Washington on Tuesday


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Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are expected to discuss wide-ranging issues during their meeting. -AFP File Photo

WASHINGTON: Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar will arrive in Washington on Tuesday for talks with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other senior officials on bilateral relationship, crucial to the outcome of the Afghan conflict.

The two top diplomats are expected to discuss wide-ranging issues including ways to enhance economic and trade cooperation, counterterrorism work along the Durrand Line, peace and security efforts in Afghanistan and regional issues of common interest.

Besides holding formal talks with Clinton, the Pakistani foreign minister will meet with US National Security Advisor Tom Donilon and US Trade Representative Ron Kirk.

On Capitol Hill, Khar will meet Congressional leaders including Senator John Kerry, who chairs the influential Foreign Relations Committee and spell out Islamabad's views on various issues of mutual concern, including security situation in Pakistan's western neighbour Afghanistan.

During her visit, the foreign minister will also interact with the media and American intelligentsia at think tank events.

Islamabad seeks to establish mutually respectful ties with the United States, with a particular emphasis on increased access for its textile products and inflow of US investment into various sectors of the economy.

Washington, on the other hand, stresses greater Pakistani cooperation against terrorists operating along the porous Pak-Afghan border.

Islamabad has voiced its opposition to American use of drone attacks against militants holed up in the tribal areas, saying such unilateral actions violate the country's sovereignty and inflame militancy in the region.

Foreign Minister Khar's visit takes place in the backdrop of some improvement in the bilateral ties after the July resumption of Pakistani land routes for Nato supplies into landlocked Afghanistan.

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