updated 3/27/2008 11:01:48 AM ET 2008-03-27T15:01:48

A senior U.S. envoy visiting Pakistan said Thursday that negotiations are not possible with some "irreconcilable" militants "who want to destroy our way of life."

Deputy U.S. Secretary of State John Negroponte met this week with Pakistan's new leaders, who have suggested dialogue with pro-Taliban forces blamed for escalating violence.

But Negroponte said that he did not see how it would be possible to hold discussions with "irreconcilable elements who want to destroy our way of life."

However, he said some hard-liners could be persuaded to participate in the democratic political process.

The diplomat also said that Pakistan's political process will decide the status of President Pervez Musharraf and that Washington will respect the outcome.

Musharraf has been a longtime ally of the U.S. war on terrorism but faces calls for his resignation and threats of impeachment after the opposition swept February elections.

Asked at a news conference if he was in Pakistan to "rescue" Musharraf, Negroponte said the president's future status depended on the country's political process and the United States will "certainly respect whatever is decided in that regard."

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