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Pakistan, U.S. try to ease tensions

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — 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 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.

A senior CIA official is to visit this week to discuss differences between the agency and Pakistan's powerful military-run Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, or ISI, said Pakistani officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

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

At the core of the frictions is the Pakistani military's refusal to close bases on its side of the border from which Afghan insurgents have been fighting U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan. Many U.S. officials say that the ISI backs the Afghan groups in a bid to put a pro-Pakistan government in Kabul, a charge Islamabad denies.

Pakistan says its forces are overstretched from fighting its own Islamic insurgents, and it insists that the leaders of the Afghan Taliban and allied groups be included in any political settlement to the 10-year Afghan war.

The Obama administration also is questioning how bin Laden could have lived undetected for at least five years in Abbottabad.

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