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Pakistan PM calls for high level US engagements in Tillerson meet

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-10-25 09:54

ISLAMABAD - Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has held talks with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Islamabad and underlined the importance of high level engagements between Pakistan and the United States, the Prime Minister Office said.

The US secretary of state accompanied by a high-level delegation visited Islamabad for talks on important issues, focusing on anti-terror cooperation and exploring Pakistan's role in peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan, the office said on Tuesday.

This was Tillerson's first visit to Islamabad as secretary of state. The visit was a follow-up to the meeting between Abbasi and US vice President Mike Pence in New York in September in which the two sides agreed to resume full scale engagements between the two governments.

Abbasi expressed satisfaction on the progress made during these interactions in recent months and informed the delegation of the significant strides Pakistan had made in improving the overall security and economic environment of the country resulting in significantly improved business and investment opportunities available to foreign businesses and investors.

The talks covered in detail all aspects of bilateral relations, the regional situation, as well as the evolving international environment and the Pakistan delegation outlined the government's policy of a peaceful neighborhood and steps taken to promote cooperation and stability in Afghanistan and the region, the statement said.

The US delegation was also apprised of the tremendous sacrifices made by the Pakistan nation including security forces and Law Enforcement Agencies in the war against terror.

"The fact that Pakistani security forces have successfully carried out the largest counterterrorism operation was detailed along with Pakistan's sustained commitment and interest in supporting peace and stability in Afghanistan as well as the broader region. The delegation was also informed of the ongoing efforts on securing the Pak-Afghan border out of national resources," the statement further said.

The two sides agreed to build upon the understandings reached in the dialogue process and to continue the pace and scope of high level engagements in future.

The US Embassy in Islamabad said in a statement that Tillerson in the meeting "reiterated President Trump's message that Pakistan must increase its efforts to eradicate militants and terrorists operating within the country."

"To address those concerns, the secretary outlined the United States' new South Asia Strategy and the vital role that Pakistan can play in working with the United States and others to facilitate a peace process in Afghanistan that can bring stability and security to the region," the embassy said in a statement.

Tillerson left for India late Tuesday at the conclusion of talks in Islamabad.

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