WASHINGTON - Top diplomats from the US, Pakistan and Afghanistan ended three days of talks here on Thursday afternoon on the next steps in the war against militants along the Pak-Afghan border, with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi saying that the meeting took a 'significant leap in bridging the trust deficit'. US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton buoyed by the success of the talks, said the three-way format was so fruitful it would be used regularly in the months ahead. Pakistan and Afghanistan expressed concern about civilian casualties from US military drive, according to administration officials. Qureshi, objected to air-strikes by Predator drones in Tribal Areas, part of a covert campaign against terrorists by CIA. But the talks produced no known breakthroughs. However, Hillary Clinton said they were in-depth and forthright. The meeting, she said, was designed to gather suggestions and ideas from the Pakistanis and Afghans as the administration reviews its approach to the war in Afghanistan where the Taliban are posing a serious challenge to the US-led coalition forces. In addition to her Afghan and Pakistani counterparts, Clinton was joined in the talks by Richard Holbrooke, the administration's special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan,and Gen. David Petraeus, the commander of US forces in the region. Afghan Foreign Minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta spoke to reporters after meeting separately with Clinton at the State Department. 'I can assure you Afghanistan is committed with you to address the menace of terrorism and to work together, closely together, on democratisation of Afghanistan and its stability', Spanta said. Later, after meeting jointly with Spanta and Qureshi, and other members of their delegations, Mrs Clinton underlined the significance of having the Afghan and Pakistani delegations together for candid talks. 'The representatives from both the civilian and military sectors of both govts have been not only forthcoming, but very receptive, listening one to the other', she told reporters. Speaking to Washington-based Pakistani journalists, Qureshi said, 'We have identified in our discourse that we have a common enemy, so to defeat this common enemy we require a common strategy. And that is what we were here to discuss'. 'Our discussions were to build this partnership and I can say that we have taken a significant leap forward in the last three days in bridging the trust deficit'. He said he found the Obama administration was keen to listen. 'They were frank. The discussions were candid'. He further said: 'they admitted that they did not have a magic formula-it is a huge challenge, Ambassador Holbrooke himself has said so"but collectively, we feel that can overcome the challenge (along Pak-Afghan border)'. On Swat peace deal reached last week, Qureshi said he informed the US officials about the logic behind it. 'We discussed the Swat peace agreement. And the explanation and raison d'etre given by myself on the Swat agreement and its history. I think to a great extent we have been able to allay their concerns'. Focusing on Pakistan-US bilateral relations, he said Pakistan is interested in building a long-term broad-based partnership with the US, based on common ideals, values and principles. During his interaction with the Obama administration officials and top lawmakers, he found indications for expansion in economic assistance for Pakistan. 'I found that this administration is keen, eager and I could see the willingness to increase economic assistance for Pakistan and also to enhance capacity of Pakistan law-enforcement agencies to fight terrorism'. 'I am going back to Pakistan with a lot of hope and with the message that this administration wants to support a democratic order and democratic institutions of Pakistan and they are willing to help Pakistan overcome its economic difficulties', he added. In discussions with Secretary Clinton, he said they both agreed that the progress made in the strategic dialogue was not satisfactory. The strategic dialogue aims at consolidating cooperation in areas like energy, education, agriculture and science and technology. 'But we have both come to the conclusion that to make that dialogue result-oriented, we need the meetings to be more frequent, and we should lay down certain benchmarks to make progress. And we need to develop a mechanism to help Pakistan'. He said Mrs Clinton is willing to collectively develop a vehicle in order to mobilise the US citizens of Pakistani origin so that they can help in stabilizing Pak economy. The consensus that emerged was that we are collectively going to write a new chapter in US-Pakistan relations, he added. Qureshi said he also received the impression that Kerry-Lugar legislation -that seeks to enhance economic annual aid for Pakistan to $1.5b may see a further increase in the size of assistance. 'Besides, the Obama administration has indicated an increase in foreign assistance in the coming budget, and obviously Pakistan would be a beneficiary. It has also been decided that a measure on allowing dedicated reconstruction opportunity zones for duty-free access of certain products to the US market would be reintroduced in the House of Representatives shortly', he said. Qureshi,was accompanied in the talks by top level military officials, said the 'uniqueness of the Pakistani delegation is that for the first time it comprised of political (and) military leadership and the Foreign Office-all together speaking from the same page'. 'It reflects a new civil-military relationship developing in Pakistan, which is very important to establish democratic institutions and norms in the country', he added. Qureshi, who also raised the issue of drone attacks, said he informed the US interlocutors about Pak concerns as well as the views of the Parliament and the Pakistani people in this respect. 'And I suggested that we should weigh the advantages-because they feel there are certain advantages-because they have in the recent weeks and months got high value targets through these drones. They feel the terrain is difficult and in that difficult terrain that is a very useful means of achieving the objective', he said. 'There is another side, that there is collateral damage and that collateral damage leads to alienation. What I have suggested is that if we are to be successful we have to win the hearts and minds of people. And this govt is giving ownership to this fight against extremism and terrorism. And you can only get ownership when you have people with you'. 'So you have to balance the two in coming to a conclusion that how useful this intervention is', he said.