ISLAMABAD: US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns on Friday met with the civil and military leadership to discuss regional security situation and exchange views on matters of bilateral interest.
The US envoy had a meeting with Prime Nawaz Sharif, Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif, Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi and Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan. Sources said Burns conveyed the message of the United States to Pakistan’s top Pakistani civil and military officials to “destroy terrorist sanctuaries located in North Waziristan and complete the operation before installation of the new political administration in Kabul”.
The US envoy arrived here on Thursday evening. The two sides also discussed Pakistan-US bilateral relations and regional issues, including Afghanistan. Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry and US Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson were also present in the meetings. The prime minister underscored the importance Pakistan attaches to stronger Pakistan-US cooperation in diverse fields. He expressed satisfaction at the positive direction and momentum of bilateral relations.
The Ministerial Review of the Bilateral Strategic Dialogue held subsequently had further sustained this process, he added. With regards to Afghanistan, the importance of deeper consultations between Pakistan and the United States was underscored during the meeting. The prime minister reiterated Pakistan’s support for the democratic process in Afghanistan and stressed that smooth security and economic transitions were also fundamental for stability of that country and the region. Both sides also discussed the post-2014 situation and matters relating to Afghan peace and reconciliation process.
Adviser to Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, during his meeting with Burns, reiterated Pakistan’s support for the democratic process in Afghanistan and stressed that smooth security and economic transitions were also fundamental for stability in Afghanistan and the region. Both sides also discussed the post-2014 situation and matters relating to Afghan peace and reconciliation process. During his meeting with COAS General Raheel Sharif, the US envoy discussed security along the Pak-Afghan border and shared more information about terrorist sanctuaries and asked for carrying out possible strikes against them.
Burns also called on Interior Minisiter Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan. The minister said that Pakistan enjoys good relations with the US and stressed on greater coordination and cooperation in relations in the wake of regional situation developing as a result of the drawdown of ISAF forces from Afghanistan. The minister outlined Pakistan’s concerns on the situation in the post-2014 scenario.
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