Pak army chief meets Kerry; to meet Biden today
Washington : US Secretary of State John Kerry has met with the visiting Pakistani army chief, General Raheel Sharif, during which the two discussed “security-related” issues, officials have said.
“Secretary Kerry met this morning with Chief of Army Staff Raheel Sharif to follow up on some of the security-related conversations that he had with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in October,” a State Department spokesperson told PTI.
“General Sharif’s consultations in Washington are part of our regular, ongoing bilateral discussions with a broad range of Pakistani officials, and we appreciate the productive discussions we had regarding our bilateral defence and security relationship,” the spokesperson said.
During the meeting Kerry reaffirmed his commitment to the US-Pakistan partnership, and its importance in addressing issues of mutual concern and ensuring peace, stability, and prosperity across the region.
Richard Olson, the new Special US Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, who began his tenure a day earlier, also attended the meeting.
The State Department, however, did not say the specific issues that were discussed by Kerry with Gen Sharif.
However in a series of tweets, ISPR spokesman Director-General ISPR Lt-Gen Asim Bajwa, said Gen Sharif “highlighted need for resolution of Kashmir.”
Regional security including Afghanistan and India was discussed during the meeting, Bajwa said referring to the issues discussed in the meeting wherein the two leaders felt the need and measures for regional stability.
According to Bajwa, Kerry acknowledged Pakistan’s contributions and enormous sacrifices in fight against terror. Gen Sharif highlighted Pakistan’s perspective on regional security and supported Afghanistan-owned reconciliation process, the challenges and the way forward.
He reiterated Pakistan’s desire to solidify US-Pakistan relations based on mutual interest and respect, Bajwa said.
Meanwhile, the White House said Gen Sharif would today meet the US Vice President, Joe Biden. The meeting is scheduled to take place in the Roosevelt Room of the White House.