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    Gen. Allen, Kayani confer on border security

    ISLMABAD/KABUL (PAN): The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) commander, during a visit to Islamabad, on Thursday said they were trying to build an enduring and strategic partnership with Pakistan.

    Gen. John R. Allen visited the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi to meet the Pakistan Army chief -- the first talks since Pakistan lifted a seven-month blockade of key NATO supply routes into Afghanistan.

    On July 3, Pakistan reopened the supply routes after the US apologised for the deaths of 24 Pakistani soldiers in US air strikes during a November 2011 raid in the Mohmand tribal region.

    “We are making significant progress toward building a partnership that is enduring, strategic, carefully defined and that enhances the security and prosperity of the region,” said Allen.

    Boosting security along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border topped the agenda, the two sides said in a statement after the meeting. Gen. Kayani stressed the Pakistan-US relationship should be based on mutual trust, respect and transparency.

    Gen Allen said he enjoyed his trips to Pakistan and was “pleased with the upward spiral of Pak-US relationship”.

    This meeting was another in a series of opportunities for the commanders to continue building upon the growing operational cooperation between Afghan forces, the Pakistan military and ISAF. 

    According to the statement, the parties share many interests – including a commitment to expanding opportunities for coordinated action against terrorists on both sides of the border who threaten Afghanistan, Pakistan and the region. 

    “The future security and stability of the region rests in large part on the strength of the partnership these discussions are forging. The talks also recognised the importance of future opportunities for key ANSF, Pakistani military and ISAF to continue to explore ways to expand their vital partnership.”