FO confident talks will continue


Pakistan’s standoff with Washington over a jailed U.S. Embassy worker will not thwart talks between the two countries and Afghanistan, Foreign Office said on Sunday.

Tensions between the U.S. and Pakistan have been rising over the detention of American Raymond Allen Davis for killing two Pakistani men.

In an apparent step to show its displeasure, the United States on Saturday postponed a meeting with Pakistani and Afghan officials to discuss the war in Afghanistan.

The meeting was to have taken place next week.

The U.S. did not directly cite Davis’ continued detention as the reason, but U.S. diplomats have said the talks could become a casualty of the dispute.

Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said he is confident the three-way talks will continue.

“The trilateral talks will be rescheduled in due course of time,” Basit said. “It is important the trilateral process continues. We hope whenever held, (talks) will yield maximum results for peace and stability.”

He declined comment on what the escalating diplomatic spat means for the Davis case or for relations with the United States.

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said the U.S. hopes to reschedule the three-way meeting soon.

Police have accused the US national of “cold-blooded murder.” Davis claims he shot the men in self-defense when they tried to rob him at gunpoint in Lahore. The U.S. insists he has diplomatic immunity from prosecution.

Pakistan’s foreign secretary has said that any U.S. pressure on Islamabad to release David will be “counterproductive.”

Pakistan is considered a key to U.S. success in neighboring Afghanistan, making it difficult for Washington to sever too many ties.

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