Tuesday, April 23, 2013

U.S. special envoy, Pakistan army chief discuss Afghan reconciliation

  ISLAMABAD, April 21 (Xinhua) -- Senior U.S. diplomats and defense officials met Pakistan army chief, General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, in the garrison city of Rawalpindi and discussed matters of mutual interest with particular focus on Afghanistan reconciliation process, the military said on Sunday.

The army statement said that both sides discussed "matters of mutual interest" but did not give any more details about the talks.

The U.S. delegation comprised Ambassador David Pearce, Acting Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Dagulas Lute, Special Assistant to the President on Afghanistan and Pakistan Peter Lavoy, Principal Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs and Ambassador Richard Olson.

The visit comes at a time when relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan are tense over the cross-border tension.

Two top U.S. generals also visited Pakistan this month and discussed mainly about Afghanistan.

Sources said that the talks are also aimed at removing differences between Pakistan and Afghanistan and finding ways to work for the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan.

The U.S. State Department said ahead of the visit that in Islamabad, Pearce will hold meetings with senior Pakistan officials to discuss ways in which the United States and Pakistan can continue to work together to advance "our bilateral goals and affirm how both our countries can contribute to a secure, stable, and prosperous future for the region."

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