US' top priority is to defeat al-Qaeda: Mullen

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Mike Mullen
Washington, Jul 9: US Joint Chief's Staff chairman on Wednesday, Jul 8 said United States' top priority is to defeat al-Qaeda leaders who are now residing in the federally administered tribal areas (FATA) of Pakistan.

Admiral Mike Mullen said, "The top priority, with respect to that strategy, is to defeat al-Qaeda, whose leadership resides in the FATA -- in the federal areas, the tribal areas -- in Western Pakistan."

Mullen also said Pakistan and Afghanistan are making a good progress in the development of the country and are now moving in the right direction and the United States now needs to remain engaged in both the countries.

"Then that kind of both effort and the cooperation that we're trying to generate through our engagement in the long run, I think, with the development of the Afghan security forces and the Pakistani security forces, puts growing and continued pressure on that threat that I talked about earlier," Mullen said.

"It is not perfect. We still are working our way. We have ways to go in terms of those relationships, which are between Pakistan and Afghanistan. And that's, I think, historically known, and obviously we've got a ways to go with our own relationships for those two countries. But I think we need to stay engaged, and overall, we're moving in the right direction," Mullen added.

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