Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.) will visit Pakistan early next week to try to ease rising tensions in the aftermath of the killing in a covert U.S. operation of Osama bin Laden.

On the trip he will also visit Afghanistan.


"A number of people suggested it would be good to get a dialogue going about the aftermath and how we get on the right track," Kerry said on Tuesday, according to Reuters.

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Kerry's trip is said to be designed to defuse tensions between the two countries as a result of the discovery that bin Laden had been hiding out some 30 miles from the capital of Islamabad near that country’s equivalent of West Point.

Some lawmakers have accused members of the Pakistani government, its intelligence service or its military of having some knowledge of bin Laden's whereabouts, or having been incompetent in its efforts to find him; the al Qaeda leader was said to have been living in the same compound for at least five years.

But others have cautioned against lobbing accusations at Pakistan without proof. The administration has held up Pakistan as a vital ally in the region in the war on terror and billions of dollars in aid have been directed there since 9/11.

"There are some serious questions, obviously, there are some serious issues that we've just got to find a way to resolve together," Kerry said, according to Agence France Presse. "And our interests and their interests I think are well served by working through those difficulties."

Pakistan, for its part, has repeatedly denied having any knowledge of where bin Laden had been hiding.

"No matter what we learn about the events that preceded the killing of Bin Laden, we have vital national security interests in this region, and we have worked to build a partnership with Pakistan that allows us to pursue common threats and interests," Kerry said in an opening statement at a Foreign Relations hearing on Pakistan last week.

President Obama did not inform Pakistan of the commando raid, by U.S. Navy SEALs, that killed bin Laden until after the fact.

--This story was updated at 10:43 a.m.