Pakistan spy chief visit to U.S. "went very well"

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 14, 2011 7:03 PM
Pakistan spy chief visit to U.S. "went very well"

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. and Pakistani spy chiefs, trying to mend rifts in a relationship that has grown increasingly sour, met at the CIA and agreed on steps to improve national security, a U.S. official said on Thursday.

Lieutenant-General Ahmad Shuja Pasha made a brief visit to Washington, arriving on Wednesday and leaving on Thursday, to meet with Acting CIA Director Michael Morell and other intelligence officials.

"The discussions today between General Pasha and the acting director of the Central Intelligence Agency went very well," a U.S. official said on condition of anonymity.

"They agreed on a number of steps that will improve Pakistani and U.S. national security," the official said, without disclosing any more details.

The Pakistani Embassy in Washington had no immediate comment.

The relationship between U.S. and Pakistani intelligence services was especially strained after U.S. special forces conducted a secret raid in Pakistan in May that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

Pakistan branded the operation a violation of its sovereignty and Pasha offered to resign.

Pasha had also been expected to meet with the heads of congressional intelligence committees during this visit, but the meeting did not happen because of time constraints, a U.S. source familiar with the visit said.

(Reporting by Tabassum Zakaria; editing by Todd Eastham)