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US Defence Secretary Mattis Arrives in Islamabad

Islamabad (December 04, 2017):  US defence secretary James Mattis arrived in Islamabad on official visit here today.

Mattis reached Nur Khan Airbase on Monday afternoon. Officials from the defence and foreign ministries received the visiting US dignitary.

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During his visit, the US Defence Minister will meet Prime Minister Shahid Khaqab Abbasi, Defense Minister and military leadership.

Mattis visit is the first since taking over the charge of the Pentagon.The US secretary of defence’s trip aims “to re-affirm the enduring US commitment to partnerships” in the region, according to a press release by the US Department of Defense.

Mattis began his crucial five-day tour of the Middle East — including Egypt, Jordan, and Kuwait — and Islamabad on Friday.

Having underscored earlier that Washington wants to see progress in the Pakistan-US relations, the defence secretary will hold discussions on regional security, peace, bilateral issues, and the Afghan conflict — something of key importance especially after US President Donald Trump announced his new regional strategy in August.Speaking to reporters travelling with him in the Middle East, the American defence chief said, “We have heard from Pakistan leaders that they do not support terrorism. So I expect to see that sort of action reflected in their policies.”

When asked if he was going to press the Pakistani leaders to take more action against the insurgents, Mattis stated that the country was taking action in its own best interests and “that’s not the way I deal with issues”.“I believe that we work hard on finding the common ground and then we work together.”

“There’s plenty of collaborative areas, right now, still in effect. There’s been some areas that we have lost over the years, because of disagreements about what we need to do,” he said.

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