Hillary Clinton in Pakistan on unannounced visit

14:56, May 27, 2011      

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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Islamabad on unannounced visit on Friday to remove the mistrust caused by unilateral action by the U.S. forces to kill Osama bin Laden in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad on May 2, officials said.

State television reported that Hillary Clinton will hold meetings with Pakistan's President, Prime Minister and the Army Chief.

Sources said the visit of the U.S. Secretary of State had been kept secret over security reasons and the Pakistani Foreign Ministry on Wednesday denied local media reports about her visit.

Clinton is the first highest U.S. official to visit Pakistan after the death of Osama bin Laden in a unilateral raid by U.S. special forces on May 2, which caused rift in relations between the two close allies in the war against terror.

Reports said that Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) Admiral Mike Mullen arrived in Pakistan late Thursday night to join Hillary Clinton in the visit.

Sources said the visit of the two high-level officials is aimed at discussing ways to bridge the trust gap in relationship after the U.S. operation to kill the al-Qaida Chief.

Pakistani parliament and top leadership had condemned the U.S. unilateral action and termed it as attack on sovereignty.

Hillary Clinton is the fourth senior U.S. official to visit Pakistan after Osama death to try to revive the relationship on track.

Three U.S. delegations visited Pakistan over the past two weeks including one led by influential senator John Kerry, the other by U.S. Special Envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan Marc Grossman and the third by CIA deputy chief Mark Morrell.

The meetings were meant to lay the groundwork for Clinton's visit, media reports said.

Officials said the U.S. Secretary of State will hold all meetings at the Presidency later Friday.

She arrived at a time when U.S. media has reported that Pakistan will allow a CIA team to search the Osama bin Laden compound which had been closed since his death.

Reports also said that Pakistan has closed several CIA secret centers in Pakistan.

Source: Xinhua
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