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U.S. General's Pakistan Visit Aimed At Repairing Ties

U.S. Marine Corps General James Mattis, commander of the U.S. Central Command
U.S. officials say General James Mattis, commander of U.S. Central Command, will visit Pakistan this month in an effort to heal the rift between the two nations.

Mattis is expected to meet with Pakistani Army chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani to talk about the U.S. investigation into air strikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in an exchange of fire at the border with Afghanistan.

Mattis would be the first high-ranking official to visit since the November 26 air strikes, which sent relations to a new low and prompted Pakistan to close its border to U.S. military supplies headed for Afghanistan.

While the two have been cautious allies since the U.S. launched its "war on terror" following the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. operation to kill Osama bin Laden at his Pakistani hideout in May 2011 exacerbated tensions on both sides.

Compiled from agency reports