Boehner, House delegation visit Pakistan for 'frank' talks on extremism

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and five other lawmakers were in Pakistan Monday to meet with top government and military officials.

The group met with Prime Minister Yousaf Gillani and Gen. Ashfaq Kayani and had a "frank and productive discussion" about the battle against Islamic extremist groups like the Taliban and al Qaeda. 

"While the relationship between our two countries has seen its challenges, we discussed the importance of working through these issues and renewing our partnership based on mutual interests and mutual respect," Boehner said in a statement.

As the Afghan war has worn on, the U.S. has placed heavy pressure on Pakistan's government to root out extremist groups that occupy large swaths of land along its border with Afghanistan.

"We recognize that the Pakistani military and the Pakistani people have made great sacrifices in recent years in the struggle against extremism and terrorism," Boehner said. "Al-Qaeda and its extremist allies have made Pakistan a target, and the Pakistani nation has suffered deeply as a result. We appreciate the efforts of the Pakistani military and the sacrifices of those troops and the Pakistani people."

Boehner's group is taking advantage of the congressional recess to visit key strategic sites in the Middle East. The lawmakers stopped in Iraq over the weekend to visit U.S. troops and Iraqi officials.

Boehner is accompanied by Reps. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), Mike Conaway (R-Texas), Tom Rooney (R-Fla.), Joe Heck (R-Nev.) and Dan Boren (D-Okla). They group also met with the U.S.'s ambassador to Pakistan, Cameron Munter.

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