Washington: The US on Saturday said it is willing to address all the concerns of Pakistan and find a middle ground to take forward their important and crucial relationship. (Agencies)
"We are willing to address their concerns moving forward and find a middle ground," State Department spokesperson Mark Toner told reporters at his daily news conference, a day after the Pakistani Parliament approved a set of guidelines for its relationship with the US.
The guidelines include, an apology for the November 26 incident that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in a NATO cross order fire, an end to drone strikes and higher taxes for reopening of the ground supply routes to Afghanistan.
"We want to build a very constructive relationship with Pakistan and one that is based on mutual understanding. We are going to engage with the Pakistani government in a way that listens to their concerns, recognises their needs in the relationship, recognises that this is a shared relationship and a shared commitment, and move forward," Toner said.
Toner said the US is aware of some of the concerns that parliamentary review raised. "Frankly, some of them are not new to us, so we're gonna engage. Let's these conversations move forward until -- I'm not going to -- we're not going to take anything off the table or put anything on the table," he added.
Earlier in the day, the Pentagon said it is looking forward to formally having the new set of proposals from Pakistan in this regard.
"We have seen media reports but have not received the proposals of Pakistan's parliamentary review formally as yet. We are looking forward to receiving these proposals and are ready to discuss the points raised in it with the government of Pakistan," Pentagon press secretary George Little told reporters during an off camera news conference.
Observing that it would be hard to speculate what America's position will be on each of these recommendations from the Pakistani parliament, Little said he will not characterise that US willingness to discuss means that they are ready to accept all Pakistani demands.
"However, there is a clear willingness on part of the US administration to engage with Pakistan because we value this relationship. Relationship with Pakistan has been tough during last year and there are obvious reasons for it. We want to settle down these issues and move forward with Pakistan on areas of our shared interests," Little said.
Noting that cooperation with Pakistan is already happening through its defence attaché in Islamabad and Af-Pak border security posts, he said the coordination on Afghanistan-Pakistan border has actually improved after Salala incident.
"We are determined to make sure that such an incident does not happen again. We are prepared to provide further assistance to Pakistan for search and rescue if needed. These are some indicators of progress in the relationship with Pakistan," he said.
Little, however, declined to comment on a question whether the US is ready to apologise to Pakistan on Salala as demanded in the parliament's recommendations.
Washington: The US on Saturday said it is willing to address all the concerns of Pakistan and find a middle ground to take forward their important and crucial relationship.