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U.S., PAKISTAN TAKE STEPSTO EASE TENSIONS AFTER RAID

McClatchy Newspapers

ISLAMABAD - The United States and Pakistan sought Monday to avert a rupture in relations over the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden, but it was unclear how much progress they made beyond a vague accord to "work together" on future operations against "high-value" militants hiding in Pakistan.

Pakistani civilian and military leaders also agreed in talks with Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry, D-Mass., to return the wreckage of a top-secret, radar-evading U.S. helicopter that was damaged and intentionally destroyed during the May 2 assault by U.S. Navy SEALs on bin Laden's hideout.

It was clear, however, that Kerry and his interlocutors made little headway on the core disputes that had plunged relations between the putative allies to their most acrimonious level in 10 years even before the raid that embarrassed and enraged Pakistan's powerful military, which was informed only after it was over.

"It was agreed that all tracks of U.S.-Pakistan engagement need to be revisited," said a joint statement issued after two days of meetings between Kerry, acting as an Obama administration envoy, and Pakistani leaders.

"The make-or-break is real," Kerry told a news conference.

Overall relations will be reviewed in an upcoming visit by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

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