US defers trilateral meeting with Pakistan

Saturday, February 12, 2011

WASHINGTON - The US has postponed a trilateral meeting involving Pakistan due later this month here amid a diplomatic row over continued detention of an American official who shot dead two men in Lahore.

The US has put off a trilateral meeting with Pakistan and Afghanistan slated for Feb 23-24 in Washington “in light of the political changes in Pakistan”, State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said Saturday.

According to Xinhua, Crowley said: “We remain committed to robust engagement between Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the United States, as we share many issues of mutual concern and benefit from being at the same table.”

“We look forward to convening a very productive trilateral meeting at the earliest opportunity,” he said in a statement.

US-Pakistan ties have been strained after the arrest of Raymond Davis by Pakistani authorities in Lahore, the capital of Punjab province.

Davis was arrested Jan 27 for gunning down two Pakistanis. He claimed that he acted in self-defence as the two armed men wanted to rob him. A court in Pakistan Friday sent him to jail on a 14-day judicial remand.

Washington has pressed for Davis’ release, saying he enjoys diplomatic immunity.

The US has reportedly suspended all high-level talks with Pakistan and several congressmen have threatened suspension of aid if Davis was not freed.

Filed under: Diplomacy

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