Centcom chief, Raheel confer on Afghanistan
KABUL (Pajhwok): As foreign forces prepare to leave Afghanistan by the end of the current year, the United States and Pakistan on Thursday discussed key regional issues, including the current situation in the war-torn country.
US Central Command General Lloyd J. Austin met Pakistan Army Chief General Raheel Sharif on how to ensure post-2014 stability in Afghanistan at the General Headquarters in the garrison town of Rawalpindi.
Austin’s visit was part of ongoing consultations between the two countries on post-2014 Afghanistan, a statement from the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said. Matters of mutual interest with special emphasis on regional security came up for discussion.
The two generals reaffirmed the importance of the US-Pakistani security relationship for regional stability and agreed to continue to work together to build a stronger partnership and further common objectives.
Austin’s trip follows US Special Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan James Dobbins’s visit, during which the two sides decided to make efforts to revive the Afghan reconciliation effort once the new government was installed in Kabul.
Austin’s visit to Islamabad comes against the backdrop of reports that Taliban in Afghanistan had signalled their willingness for a deal with the US on the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who has been in the rebel movement’s captivity for almost five years.
The Afghan-US Bilateral Security Agreement, the size of the residual force in Afghanistan and the retrograde movement of equipment were also discussed, a Pakistani security official was quoted as saying.
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