Kerry, Gilani, discuss NATO strike

Senior US Senator John Kerry said Thursday he and Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani had discussed a NATO strike inside Pakistan that roiled ties between the uneasy “war on terrorism” allies.

“We had a good conversation about it. I think we will work through this,” Kerry told AFP after Pakistan shut down the main land route for NATO supplies into Afghanistan after charging the NATO raid killed Pakistani troops.

“Obviously they are concerned — and ought to be — when there is collateral damage. We need to try to avoid it, and we do,” said Kerry, who as Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman has worked to improve US ties to Pakistan.

“They have some very critical day to day challenges right now and I think that’s really what’s preoccupying them to the greatest degree,” Kerry said, without elaborating.

His comments came after a brief public appearance with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who ignored a shouted question about whether the United States would consider suspending operations in Pakistan after the strike.