US, Pakistan to work for stable Afghanistan
ISALAMABAD (PAN): Pakistan and the United States on Thursday agreed to work together for peace and stability in Afghanistan and lend their weight to the reconciliation process in the war-ravaged country.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and US Secretary of State John Kerry reiterated their resolve during talks between in Islamabad. The held a one-on-one meeting that was later joined by their respective delegations.
The state-run Pakistan Television (PTV) reported the two sides discussed the situation in Afghan and other regional issues, including withdrawal of foreign combat troops by the end of 2014.
According to the Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) news agency, Sharif and Kerry agreed on expanding bilateral relations in the fields of education‚ energy and social sector.
Sharif was assisted by his advisor on national security and foreign affairs, as well as ministers of finance‚ interior and water and power.
The US delegation included Special Representative on Pakistan and Afghanistan James Dobbins and Ambassador Richard Olson.
Kerry also held a meeting with Advisor on National Security Sartaj Aziz at the Foreign Office and discussed bilateral issues, besides the regional situation with particular reference to Afghanistan.
Addressing a joint news conference after the talks, they announced the resumption of the strategic dialogue to further deepen their partnership. Aziz said that Pakistan wanted to enhance trade and investment relations with the US.
He added Pakistan desired to maintain good relations with all neighbours, including Afghanistan. “Pakistan will fully assist foreign forces’ withdrawal from Afghanistan next year besides supporting the Afghan-led reconciliation process.”
Kerry extended an invitation to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to visit the United States for talks with President Barack Obama. “To ensure that we continue our important bilateral conversation at the highest levels I have extended on behalf of the president an invitation to Sharif to meet with the president in the US this fall.”
Kerry added the two sides had agreed to resume strategic dialogue to foster a deeper, broader and more comprehensive partnership.
“I can tell you unequivocally that we do share a long-term vision of the relationship and I believe in Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif we have someone who's committed to try to grow that relationship.”
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