Visit to help find common grounds, US Secretary Defence tells Pakistan leader

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Visit to help find common grounds to create positive relationship, James Mattis tells Pakistan Premier
By Muhammad Luqman
US Secretary of Defence James Mattis has said that efforts were on to find common grounds in order to create a positive, consistent and long term relationship with Pakistan.
“ We are keenly aware of the sacrifices rendered and the lives lost in Pakistan’s fight against terrorism and extremism,” General Mattis said during a meeting with Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in the capital, Islamabad on Monday.
US Secretary of Defence, James Mattis was accompanied by senior officials from Department of Defence and the US Ambassador to Pakistan, David Hale. Pakistan’s Prime Minister was assisted by Ministers of Defence, Foreign Affairs and Interior as well as senior officials from the respective ministries.
“ I have personal respect and appreciation for the professional abilities of Pakistan’s armed forces,” US Secretary of Defence said.
US official also underscored the importance of continuing and deepening cooperation for the common objective of eliminating terrorism from the region.
Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi while recalling the longstanding relationship with the United States, underlined the need for a broad based engagement to strengthen partnership and enhance cooperation between the two countries.
“No other country benefits more from peace and stability in Afghanistan than Pakistan,” Abbasi said during a meeting with US Secretary of Defence , General James Mattis who called on him in Islamabad on Monday.
Premier Abbasi appreciated the US resolve of not allowing the use of Afghan soil against Pakistan.
Sharing highlights of the recent counter terrorism operations to improve the law and order situation, 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.
He reiterated that there are no safe heavens in Pakistan and the entire nation was committed to its resolve on eradicating terrorism once and for all in all its forms and manifestations.

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