"We continue to have tensions in our relationship, and we work through them because we have so many important shared bilateral interests, and those are economic and security related," the White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney said on Monday.

"It is in both nations' interests, we believe, to strengthen the relationship between our two countries, which is what we're trying to do," Carney said responding to questions on the death of Mehsud. The United States continues to neither confirm nor deny the death of Tehrik-e Taliban (TTP) leader Mehsud. The US had declared a reward of USD 5 million on him and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) considered him as one of the world's most wanted terrorists.

"I'm not going to confirm those reports one way or the other about Hakimullah Mehsud," State Department Deputy-Spokesperson, Marie Harf, told reporters. Carney too refused to confirm the news report. "I think I can be clear that Hakimullah Mehsud was considered the commander of the TTP, that's the Pakistan Taliban, the group that claimed responsibility for the failed bombing in Times Square in New York City in May of 2010," Carney said.

Hakimullah and other TTP leaders had publicly vowed to continue targeting United States and Americans, he said. He was also wanted in the murder of seven Americans and injuring six others on December 30, 2009, at Forward Operating Base Chapman in Khost Province of Afghanistan.

Carney said that Mehsud had been indicted on charges of conspiracy to murder US citizens abroad and conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction against US citizens abroad. "In addition, the TTP has been designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the Secretary of State."

"It has a close relationship with al-Qaeda and has conducted numerous terrorist attacks, as you know, in Pakistan."

Carney also termed the November 2013 meeting between President Obama, and the Pakistani Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif as highly successful. "The President and the Prime Minister had very good meetings, and they reflected the strong, ongoing dialogue that we are having with Pakistan regarding all aspects of our bilateral relationship and our shared interests," he said.

"And as the President said at the time, despite the fact that there inevitably will be some tensions and occasional misunderstandings between our two countries, we continue to hope, rather we hope to continue to make progress in the relationship, and we continue to seek ways for our countries to cooperate on the entire range of shared interests that we have from economic to security issues," Carney said.

This comes weeks after the Obama Administration informed the Congress of its decision to release some USD 1.6 billion in withheld security assistance to Pakistan.

(Agencies)

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