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Kerry Meets With Visiting Pakistan Premier

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has met in Washington with visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Sharif arrived on October 20 for a four-day visit of high-level talks, including a planned meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama on October 23.

Kerry told journalists "the relationship with Pakistan could not be more important" and said Pakistan is "important to regional stability."

U.S. officials said Washington is ready to release some $1.6 billion in military and economic aid to Pakistan.

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Relations between the two countries deteriorated following a U.S. raid into Pakistani territory in 2011 that led to the death of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

Pakistan has also complained about U.S. drone and air strikes on its territory.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP