Islamabad (24, October 2017): US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called on Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi during his visit to Pakistan on Tuesday.
The meeting was also attended by Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, DG ISI Lt General Naveed Mukhtar, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal and Defence Minister Khurram Dastagir.
During the meeting, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi reconfirmed nation’s commitment to the war on terror. Abbasi said the we are looking forward to moving ahead with the US and building a tremendous relationship.
We are strategic partners in the war against terror with US and that today Pakistan is fighting the huge war against terror, said Abbasi.
Tillerson said that Pakistan is an important regionally to our joint goals of providing peace and security to the region and providing opportunity for greater economic relationship as well.
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Earlier, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrived in Pakistan today for crucial talks that analysts believe will set a course for future Islamabad-Washington relations.
Tillerson’s visit to Pakistan comes days after he made a major policy speech on America’s growing strategic relations with India and US President Trump’s move to offer a bigger say for India in war-torn Afghanistan.
Tillerson, during a surprise visit to Afghanistan yesterday, indicated that he will firmly tell Pakistan to stop providing safe havens to terror groups on its soil to improve bilateral ties.
Tillerson is visiting Pakistan on the invitation of Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif.After his visit to Islamabad, Tillerson will travel to New Delhi as part of his Asia visit. Tillerson began his visit from Oct 20 from Saudi Arabia where he took part in the inaugural Coordination Council meeting between the governments of Saudi Arabia and Iraq.
On Monday, Tillerson met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at the Bagram Airbase after he landed in Afghanistan on a surprise visit.
Addressing the media there, Tillerson said he will pressure Islamabad to take action on the support Taliban and other “terrorist organisations” receive in the country.Islamabad needed to “take a clear-eyed view of the situation that they are confronted with in terms of the number of terrorist organisations that find safe haven inside” the country, he told reporters, according to a pool report.
“We want to work closely (with) Pakistan to create a more stable and secure Pakistan as well,” Tillerson said.
This was Tillerson’s first trip to Afghanistan as secretary of state and comes several weeks after US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis also paid an unannounced visit.
US President Donald Trump “has declared that we are here to stay until we can secure a process of reconciliation and peace”, Tillerson said, adding: “It’s not an unlimited commitment.”Tillerson’s unannounced visit follows one of the bloodiest weeks in Afghanistan in recent memory, with more than 200 people killed in multiple attacks on security installations and mosques across the country.
He has earlier visited Saudi Arabia and Qatar as part of his regional tour.
After Pakistan, the US secretary of state will head to New Delhi and then Switzerland.