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Kerry in Islamabad for talks on Afghan stability

Kerry in Islamabad for talks on Afghan stability

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Jul 31, 2013 - 22:52

ISLAMABAD (PANinfo-icon): US Secretary of State Senator John Kerry arrived on a three-day visit in Islamabad on Wednesday night for talks with the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on bilateral and regional issues, including Afghanistaninfo-icon.

At the airport, Kerry was received by Foreign Office (America) Director General Dr Sohail, Protocol Chief Zaheer Ahmed Janjua, foreign ministry officials of US Ambassador to Pakistaninfo-icon Richard Olson, the state-controlled television reported.

During his stay in Pakistan, the secretary of state will meet Prime Minister Sharif to discuss bilateral relations, cooperation in the war on terror and CIA-operated drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal region. Kerry will also hold talks with Advisor to Prime Minister on National Security Sartaj Aziz.

The top US diplomat would press the Sharif administration on eliminating militant sanctuaries on Pakistan’s soil as international combat soldiers prepare to exit Afghanistan, one Pakistani official told Pajhwok Afghan News.

Earlier during the day, Sharif met Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani and discussed the agenda of their meetings with the visiting secretary of state, who is also scheduled to meet President Asif Ali Zardari on Thursday.

Cross-border militancy, the economic agenda and promoting a stable Afghanistan would be the main issues on the table, the official said on condition of anonymity. Pakistan, which has lost 40,000 people over the past 12 years, will make a pitch for an end to drone attacks.

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