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U.S. stresses allied relationship with Pakistan
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09:09, November 20, 2007

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The United States reiterated on Monday its allied relationship with Pakistan, describing Pervez Musharraf, president of the country, as "a reformer ... a good friend and ally."

"I don't think you can dispute the fact that President Musharraf has been a reformer in the sense that he has opened up the political system," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told a news briefing.

"He is a good friend and ally. Who leads Pakistan ultimately is going to be a decision for Pakistan and the Pakistani people. We don't pick and choose who leads Pakistan.

"But we have an investment in the relationship with Pakistan and the Pakistani people," McCormack said.

U.S. Deputy Secretary John Negroponte, during his weekend visit to Pakistan, "talked to President Musharraf and other members of the Pakistani government to offer his advice and counsel as a friend," the spokesman said.

Negroponte on Sunday urged Pakistan to lift emergency, end curbs on media and release the political detainees. He welcomed President Pervez Musharraf's announcement that elections would take place in January and his commitment to quit the army post before commencing his second term.

Negroponte was the first top U.S official to visit Pakistan since Musharraf imposed emergency on Nov. 3.

Source: Xinhua

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