WASHINTON: Tariq Fatemi, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Foreign Affairs, and United States National Security Advisor Ambassador Susan Rice reaffirmed shared desire for continued close coordination to realize peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan during a meeting here.
Fatemi briefed Ambassador Rice on the important advances made by Pakistan in improving the state of its economy, internal security and various steps taken by the government for socioeconomic development in the country. Ambassador Jalil Abbas Jilani also attended the meeting.
The two officials reviewed the current state of Pak-US bilateral relations and expressed their full satisfaction at the positive trajectory of the relationship. They also discussed the evolving regional scenario and how the two countries could cooperate to achieve their shared goals.
Ambassador Rice particularly appreciated Pakistan’s positive approach and outreach to its neighbours as part of the Prime Minister’s vision of a peaceful neighborhood. This, she noted, would go a long way in achieving enduring peace and stability in the region.
The US Ambassador acknowledged Pakistan’s immense sacrifices in the war against terrorism and appreciated its commitment to eliminate this menace. In this context, she expressed the United States’ unremitting support for accelerated regional economic development through enhanced cooperation between the countries of South Asia.
While recognizing the significance of continued high-level engagements between the two countries, both sides agreed to work closely to sustain and further build the momentum in high level exchanges to further solidify mutual trust and confidence between the two countries.
Mr. Fatemi and Ambassador Rice expressed their confidence that Pak-US strategic partnership would further strengthen and deepen in the future. They expressed satisfaction at the conclusion of the Second Round of Working Group Meetings under the resumed strategic dialogue.
Mr Fatemi is currently on an official visit to the United States and is meeting senior Administration officials and members of the US Congress.
Separately, Mr. Fatemi met with the Chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator John McCain and informed him about the overall security situation in the region. He also told the Senator about the significant gains made by Pakistani forces following the successful military operations in North Waziristan which were aimed at eliminating all terrorists from the Pakistani soil without any discrimination.
Senator McCain is amongst the most senior republican leaders on the Hill and is also member of the Foreign Relations Committee. Regional situation including Pakistan’s relations with Afghanistan and the reconciliation process were also discussed.
Senator McCain noted the Pakistani sacrifices and efforts in the war against terrorism and expressed the desire to work with the government of Pakistan to realize the common objective of defeating terrorism. He reiterated the US commitment to remain engaged in the region to bring lasting peace and stability.
Senator McCain also expressed concerns about the rapid expansion of ISIL and stressed the need for collaborative efforts to meet this global challenge.