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Visiting US Defence Secretary meets PM, Army chief

ISLAMABAD: United States Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and discussed the regional situation, bilateral relations and the matters of mutual interest, ARY News reported on Monday. 

Minister of Defence Khwaja Asif and Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz were also present in the meeting. 

The US defence secretary reached Islamabad today on a daylong visit of Pakistan. It is the first visit of a US defence secretary to Pakistan within last four years. 

Earlier, US Defence Secretary Hagel called on the new Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan Gen. Raheel Sharif and discussed the matters of mutual interest.
According to a military statement, US Secretary Defence in the meeting at GHQ Rawalpindi discussed defence cooperation, regional security situation and situation at the Pak-Afghan border with COAS Gen. Raheel Sharif.

US Ambassador in Islamabad Richard Olsen and deputy secretary defence Dr. Peter Levy were also present during the meeting. 

According to sources, US defence secretary congratulated Gen. Raheel Sharif for assuming the office of the Army Chief and expressed hope for promotion of cooperation between the two militaries. 

They also discussed the issues related to pullout of the US and Nato troops from Afghanistan by December 2014, sources added. The visit of a US top official being looked by anylists an effort to repair  strained bilateral relations between Washington and Islamabad amid protests against US drone strikes forcing the US to stop the shipments from Torkham border crossing to Karachi last week.

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