Secretary of State John Kerry announced the resumption of talks during his first visit to Pakistan as secretary of state. He said the U.S. does not want bilateral relations defined solely by hot-button security issues like counterterrorism and the war in Afghanistan.
“In the last few years we’ve experienced a few differences,” Kerry said, politely understating the testy, roller-coaster relationship with Pakistan. “We cannot allow events that might divide us in a small way distract from the common values and the common interests that unite us in big ways.”
Pakistani officials have been angry about U.S. drone strikes against suspected militants in Pakistan, claiming they violate their sovereignty. They used Kerry’s visit to press the U.S. to stop the drone attacks.
“I think the program will end as we have eliminated most of the threat and continue to eliminate it,” Kerry told the Pakistan TV interviewer. “I think the president has a very real timeline and we hope it’s going to be very, very soon. I think it depends really on a number of factors, and we’re working with your government with respect to that.”