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PM, US secy defense discuss bilateral ties, regional security

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi emphatically stated that there were no terrorist safe havens in Pakistan and the entire nation was committed to its resolve of eradicating terrorism once and for all in all its forms and manifestations.

He said this during talks with US Secretary of Defense James Mattis in Islamabad on Monday.

Sharing highlights of the recent counter terrorism operations to improve the law and order situation, the prime minister said that Pakistan, in its national interest, would continue to conduct intelligence-based operations all over the country to consolidate the gains achieved in the last four years.

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Articulating Pakistan’s perspective on regional peace and security, he said that no other country would benefit more from peace and stability in Afghanistan than Pakistan.

Khaqan Abbasi underlined the need for a broad based engagement with the United States to strengthen partnership and enhance cooperation between the two countries.

He agreed with Mattis that both Pakistan and the United States have common stakes in securing peace and security in Afghanistan for the long-term stability of the broader region.

The premier also appreciated the US resolve not to allow the use of Afghan soil against Pakistan.

In his remarks, the US defense secy said that the purpose of his visit was to find common grounds in order to create a positive, consistent and long term relationship with Pakistan.

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He emphasized that in view of his long association with Pakistan, he was keenly aware of the sacrifices rendered and the lives lost in Pakistan’s fight against terrorism and extremism; and his personal respect and appreciation for the professional abilities of Pakistan’s armed forces.

General Mattis also underscored the importance of continuing and deepening cooperation for the common objective of eliminating terrorism from the region.

The PM was on this occasion assisted by ministers for defence, foreign affairs and interior as well as senior officials from the respective ministries in the talks, while the US defense secretary was accompanied by senior officials from department of defence and the US ambassador to Pakistan.



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