BEIJING, May 8 (Xinhua) -- The killing of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden earlier this month in a raid by U.S. special task forces, which was announced by U.S. President Barack Obama, has shocked the world. The details of the Hollywood-styled operation are being chased by media worldwide.
The breaking news undoubtedly marked a significant progress in the global anti-terrorism cause. Yet, the killing came both as a victory and an embarrassment for Washington.
Bin Laden had been wanted for almost 10 years, but he remained at large despite a 10-million-dollar reward offered by Washington. To the surprise of many people, the mastermind of the 9/11 terror attack used a house merely 60 km away from the Pakistani capital of Islamabad as his permanent hideout,rather than sough refuge in remote mountains.
Another strange thing is that Washington had kept the raid from Pakistan, supposedly its close ally in its war on terror, triggering speculations that the two countries were troubled by suspicion and mistrust.
After the raid, Washington showed no regret over its apparent violation of Pakistan's sovereignty. Instead, it required Pakistan's government explain why bin Laden could manage to hide within its territory for so long.
In an article published in the Washington Post, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari denied the accusation that his country secretly harbored bin Laden.
Pakistan's Foreign Ministry had also expressed deep concerns and reservations on the manner in which the U.S. commandos carried out the operation near the city of Abbottabad "without prior information or authorization from the Government of Pakistan."
The ministry said in a statement that this unauthorized unilateral action can not be taken as a rule, and such an event shall not serve as a future precedent for any state.
Despite the rift, some analysts said, the links between the two countries would remain, as the death of bin Laden did not mean the end of terrorism.
The United States still needs Pakistan's cooperation in future anti-terror operations and the ongoing war in Afghanistan, while Pakistan needs the huge annual economic and military aid from Washington.
Despite the embarrassment, the two countries are believed to continue their cooperation so that each may get what it wants. Or as the saying goes, "there are no eternal friends, but only eternal interests."
Similar scenario happened at the Second Contact Group Meeting on Libya held on Thursday in Rome, capital of Italy. Stances of the various participants and a statement issued at the end of the meeting told more about their differences and concern for respective interests.
Despite a call for wider support for NATO's military action in Libya, national interest and domestic political concerns had prompted most countries to take a wait-and-see attitude.
The call for the establishment of a special fund to provide financial support for Libyan opposition also fell on deaf ears, with few pledging any sizable financial aid. Participants were also ambiguous over whether they would offer the opposition diplomatic recognition. This formed an embarrassing contrast with the quick military action against Libya more than one month ago.