US will consider Pak's request for nuclear power plants during talks: Clinton

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Washington, Mar.24 (ANI): Amid speculations whether the White House would address Pakistan's long standing demand of a civil nuclear deal similar to India or not, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has clarified that America will consider Islamabad's request for nuclear power plants during the first ministerial-level strategic talks between the two countries.

In an interview with a Pakistani television channel, Clinton said she would not prejudge the outcome of deliberations but added that the US would 'go deep into' all issues which would raised by Pakistan during the strategic dialogue.

"I am sure that that's going to be raised and we're going to be considering it.I can't prejudge or pre-empt what the outcome of our discussions will be, except to say that this strategic dialogue is at the highest level we've ever had between our two countries. We are very committed to it," Clinton said.

When asked about the nuclear deal with India, she said : "That was the result of many, many years of strategic dialogue. It did not happen easily or quickly."

Clinton was reminded that since Pakistan was reeling severe power crisis, nuclear power plants would be of great help, to which she replied that there were other specific measures that Islamabad must take to address the issue, and meet its energy needs.

"And I think on the energy issue specifically, there are more immediate steps that can be taken that have to help with the grid, have to help with other sources of energy, to upgrade power plants and the like," The Dawn quoted Clinton, as saying.

"And we are certainly looking at those and we want to help Pakistan with its immediate and its long-term energy needs," she added.

Earlier, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who would be representing his country during Wednesday's (March 24) talks, Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and other members of the Pakistani delegation held a series of meeting with US officials.

"Our talks were frank and candid. We conveyed Pakistan's plans and priorities and expressed our hope that the strategic dialogue will lead to a qualitative difference in the relationship between Pakistan and the US," Qureshi told reporters after holding a long meeting with influential Senator John Kerry, Congressman Howard Berman and members of their committees that deal with foreign affairs. (ANI)

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