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U.S. must recognize Pakistan's energy woes, adviser says

Jan. 28, 2014 at 6:48 AM

WASHINGTON, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- Pakistani Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz said from Washington he was counting on the U.S. government to make good on energy promises.

Aziz met in Washington with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss a bilateral strategic partnership. The adviser said Pakistan's security was challenged by a lingering energy crisis but some relief was secured recently through the addition of 1,700 megawatts of electricity to the national grid.

"Recognizing the seriousness of the energy crisis that we face in Pakistan, we are hopeful [the] U.S. [government] will respond urgently by sending the much-needed help that we need in the sector," he said during a joint press briefing in Washington.

Pakistan says a pipeline from Iran could help offset an energy shortage brought on by aging infrastructure and a crumbling energy sector, though the project is inhibited in part by sanctions targeting Iran.

Kerry said Monday both sides have a shared interest in energy issues.

"We believe there are additional areas where we can collaborate in order to support greater energy production, and also improve distribution and reforms that will attract greater investment," he said.

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