Washington, Dec 1: US Secretary of State John Kerry has said he had a productive meeting with visiting Pakistan Army chief General Raheel Sharif. This was Kerry's first official engagement at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department on his return after a long overseas trip that was followed by Thanks Giving holidays.
"Back in DC post-Thanksgiving; productive mtg w/#Pakistan Chief of Army Raheel Sharif at @StateDept," Kerry tweeted soon after the meeting on Sunday.
No other details of the meeting were immediately available. A picture posted by Kerry on his twitter account showed the Secretary of State shaking hand with General Sharif, dressed in civilian attire. On his maiden visit to the US as the top Pakistani commander, General Sharif stayed in the US for nearly two weeks one of the longest stay here by a Pakistan army chief.
During his stay he met National Security Advisor Susan Rice, his American counterpart Raymond T Odierno and other military commanders including the US Central Command.
Kerry acknowledged Pakistan's role in fighting terror and its sacrifices
In a series of tweets, Major General Asim Bajwa, Director General (DG) of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said General Raheel in his meeting with Kerry gave the Pakistani perspective on regional security issues.
Kerry acknowledged Pakistan's role in fighting terror and its sacrifices, Bajwa said adding that the Secretary of State praised Pakistan army's professionalism and termed it as truly binding force. Kerry welcomed progress on improving Pak-Afghan relations as step to regional stability, and assured full support in this regard, Bajwa said in his tweet.
The visit shows that US is again ready to engage with Pakistan military, which has emerged stronger in the current power struggle in the country.