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    Allen meets Kayani, his successor in Islamabad

    KABUL (PAN): Outgoing chief of US-led forces in Afghanistan Gen. John Allen was joined in Islamabad by his successor, Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., who is to assume command of the 50-nation coalition force on Sunday, and met with Pakistan's army chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, the alliance said on Thursday.

    An ISAF statement in Kabul said the trip was the last Allen made to Pakistan as ISAF commander. He held talks with Kayani as part of a regular series of engagements aimed at bolstering military-to-military relationship between the alliance and Pakistan and improving security in the region.

    Both military leaders discussed a variety of issues relating to their mutually shared goals of peace and stability in the region and strengthening cross-border cooperation, the statement said.

    Acknowledging there is more to do, Allen and Kayani were pleased with the progress to date.  "This ongoing strategic dialogue between the two four-star generals, supported by frequent discussions at lower levels, has enhanced the effectiveness of operations on both sides of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border," the NATO-led force said.