US defence secretary hosts army chief on maiden visit

Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Asim Munir discussed regional security and bilateral defence cooperation with United States Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin.

The Pentagon shared a brief statement, saying: “Secretary of Defence Lloyd J Austin III hosted Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Asim Munir at the Pentagon today, where the two officials discussed recent regional security developments and potential areas for bilateral defence cooperation.”

Meanwhile, the US Department of State also stated that Washington looks forward to partnering with the Pakistan government on regional security and defence cooperation.

During the press briefing yesterday, the spokesperson said that the US has taken several steps to partner with Pakistan this year on anti-terrorism activities.

“In March, the United States and Pakistan held a high-level counterterrorism dialogue to discuss the shared terrorist threats facing our two countries and to develop strategies to cooperate in critical areas such as border security and countering financing of terrorism,” the spokesperson said.

“We fund several counter-terrorism capacity-building programs in Pakistan focused on law-enforcement and justice and we look forward to carrying out that work.”

The army chief reached the US capital on Tuesday afternoon on his maiden official visit since assuming office in November last year. His visit came after the conclusion of a two-day stay of US Special Representative for Afghanistan Thomas West in Islamabad.

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