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U.S. to release $1.6bn in military, civilian aid to Pakistan

Published: Updated:

A $1.6 billion aid boost to Pakistan will be released by the United States, the State Department said on Tuesday, before leaders of both countries were due to meet.

The bulk of the funding is made up of $1.38 billion in military aid, State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said. The rest is $260.5 million in civilian aid.

Congress has been notified by the State Department that the funds already budgeted for in previous years including the fiscal year 2012 will be released, according to Agence France-Presse.

“The $260.5 million in civilian assistance is part of the total $959.5 million in FY2012 civilian assistance to be notified, because much of the civilian assistance continued unaffected during the slowdown,” Harf told AFP.

Meanwhile, the State Department has also requested a further $1.16 billion in funding for Pakistan for the 2014 U.S. budget which has yet to be approved by Congress. This would be broken down into $857 million of civilian assistance and $305 million of security assistance, according to AFP.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who swept back into power in Islamabad in May, is currently on a visit to Washington and is due to meet President Barack Obama on Wednesday, the Associated Press reported.

Obama and Sharif talked on the phone earlier this year, but they have never met in person.

But officials in both countries are hoping to scale back tensions that escalated after the 2011 U.S. raid within Pakistan that killed Osama bin Laden and last year's accidental killing of two dozen Pakistani troops in an American airstrike along the Afghan border.

(With AFP and AP)