PM Abbasi, James Mattis discuss US policy in South Asia

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Mattis  and pm pakistan
US defence chief James Mattis arrived at the Nur Khan Airbase on Monday afternoon where he was received by officials from the defence and foreign ministries.

Later, the US defence secretary arrived at the Prime Minister House where a meeting is under way between him and Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, among other senior officals.

ISI Director General Lieutenant General Naveed Mukhtar, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Defence Minister Khurram Dastagir and National Security Adviser Lt Gen (retd) Naseer Khan Janjua are present in the meeting.

Matters of mutual interest, including Afghan peace efforts, are being discussed in the meeting, according to sources.

Earlier, Mattis said he intends to “work hard on finding the common ground” and “work together” with Pakistan where he arrives today for his first visit since taking over the charge of the Pentagon.

The US secretary of defence’s trip aims “to re-affirm the enduring US commitment to partnerships” in the region, according to a press release by the US Department of Defense.

Mattis began his crucial five-day tour of the Middle East including Egypt, Jordan, and Kuwait and Islamabad on Friday. He is set to meet Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

Having underscored earlier that Washington wants to see progress in the Pakistan-US relations, the defence secretary will hold discussions on regional security, peace, bilateral issues, and the Afghan conflict something of key importance especially after US President Donald Trump announced his new regional strategy in August.

Originally Posted on SuchTv

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