ISLAMABAD: US National Security Adviser Susan E. Rice called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Sunday morning in Islamabad to discuss US-Pakistan bilateral relations and the agenda for the Pakistani premier's visit to Washington in the last week of October.
According to a press release from the prime minister’s office, the meeting focused on matters of bilateral interest and the future of Pakistan-US relations. The situation in the region also came under discussion, it said.
“The United States is an important partner of Pakistan in all areas especially the economy, defence and counter-terrorism. Pakistan sees its relations with the US as a partnership which is in the interest of the two countries, the region and the world,” PM Sharif was quoted as saying.
During the meeting, the two leaders exchanged views on the regional security situation as well as peace in neighbouring Afghanistan and Pakistan's role in the peace process.
According to sources, the prime minister also informed the visiting US official about the successes achieved in Operation Zarb-e-Azb, the ongoing military offensive against militants and terrorists in Pakistan.
Rice expressed deep appreciation for the sacrifices made by Pakistan in the efforts to root out terrorism and extremism and the success achieved so far, and appreciated the Prime Minister’s vision of a peaceful neighbourhood, said the press release.
The Prime Minister said that he was looking forward to his visit to the US in October this year as an opportunity to further strengthen the ties between the two countries.
Rice was accompanied by Dr. Peter Lavoy, the Senior Director for South Asian Affairs at the US National Security Council, and Ambassador Richard Olson. Adviser on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, and officials of the Foreign Ministry were also present during the meeting.
Rice is on a day-long official visit to Pakistan. She is expected to separately meet her Pakistani counterpart Sartaj Aziz as well as army chief Gen Raheel Sharif before she departs for Washington.