-ANI): Top American commander has reaffirmed the importance of the U.S.-Pakistani security relationship to ongoing operations in Afghanistan and also to regional security and stability, the U.S. embassy said Saturday.
General Lloyd J. Austin III, commander of U.S. Central Command, wrapped his two-day visit to Pakistan on Saturday after a series of meetings with senior Pakistani military leaders, the U.S. embassy said.
General Austin discussed with Pakistan's Army Chief, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Secretary of Defense, Lt Gen (Retd.) Asif Yasin Malik and other senior military officials of a broad range of common security issues, including militant network activities and measures to improve cross-border cooperation with ISAF forces.
"General Austin also acknowledged the sacrifices made by Pakistani security forces and the terrible losses Pakistanis have suffered due to terrorism and violent extremism," the U.S. embassy said in a statement.
All parties agreed to continue to meet periodically to further common objectives and to strengthen cooperation between the two militaries, it said.
General Austin said of his visit, "We had a good meeting and a candid discussion. Pakistan's senior military leaders clearly understand their country's important and unique role in promoting security and stability in Afghanistan and throughout the region as a whole. I am most grateful for their hospitality and look forward to our continued collaboration."
General Joseph F. Dunford, commander of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) visited Pakistan on Monday, had met General Kayani and discussed a variety of issues related to strengthening cooperation and pressuring militants who threaten security along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. (Xinhua-ANI)