US Deputy Secretary of State meets Sartaj Aziz, Tariq Fatmi, COAS

ISLAMABAD: US Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns during his visit to Pakistan held meetings with Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, special assistant to the prime minister Tariq Fatemi and Chief of the Army Staff General Raheel Sharif.

Mr Burns conveyed the message of the United States to Pakistan top Pakistani civil and military officials during meetings asking it destroy terrorist sanctuaries located in North Waziristan tribal region and complete the operation before installation of new political administration in Kabul.

During the meetings, the two sides discussed Pakistan-US bilateral relations and regional issues, including Afghanistan, said a Foreign Office spokesperson.

Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry and US Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson also attended the meeting between US deputy secretary of state and special assistant to the prime minister, Tariq Fatemi during which the importance Pakistan attaches to stronger Pakistan-U.S. cooperation in diverse fields was underscored.

Mr Fatemi expressed satisfaction at the positive direction and momentum of Pak-US bilateral relations after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to Washington.

Both sides noted with satisfaction that the Ministerial Review of the Bilateral Strategic Dialogue held subsequently which had further sustained this process.

With regards to Afghanistan, both countries emphasised the importance of deeper consultations between Pakistan and the US.

Adviser to Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, during his meeting with Mr 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 meeting with Pakistan’s top military commander General Raheel Sharif, Mr. Burns discussed security along with Pak-Afghan border and shared more information about terrorist sancturies and asked for carrying out possible strikes against them.