Gilani remains PM after conviction: US

WASHINGTON: The United States Friday said it continues to work with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and believes he remains leader of the Pakistani democratic government, after a brief sentencing and conviction in a contempt of court case.

There was a court decision, he was given a 30 seconds sentence, I believe, and he remains the prime minister of Pakistan.

And, as such, we continue to work with him and Ambassador Grossman did meet with him in Pakistan, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said, responding to a question at the daily briefing.

Marc Grossman, who is special US envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan, also met with President Asif Ali Zardari and Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar during his visit, aimed at repairing strained ties between the two countries and moving forward in the light of Pakistani parliamentary guidelines.

She acknowledged that both Pakistan and the United States have more work to do together.

The two sides set some terms for continuing discussions, she noted.

The officials from two countries talked about wide-ranging issues including economy and security, market access, CSF payments and counterterrorism during the two-day visit by Ambassador Grossman, she said.

It is going to take some more time and many more conversations before we are able to come to a common way forward on some of the issues that have been most difficult in the last period. And frankly, there were not expectations on our side that we would have agreements (from these initial meetings).