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Pakistan Army Head Meets With U.S. Defense Chiefs


Pakistani Army chief Ashfaq Kayani (right) and U.S. General David Petraeus during a meeting in Islamabad on January 20.

Pakistani Army chief Ashfaq Kayani (right) and U.S. General David Petraeus during a meeting in Islamabad on January 20.

Pakistan's Army chief Ashfaq Kayani has met with the top U.S. defense leadership in Washington.

Kayani met for nearly an hour on March 22 with Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the top U.S. military officer, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen.

A U.S. Pentagon statement said the discussion "focused primarily on bilateral defense issues" as part of the U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue, a series of meetings taking place in Washington this week.

The statement added that the talks are aimed at broadening the relationship and deepening cooperation between the United States and Pakistan.

On March 21, Kayani held talks with U.S. Central Command chief General David Petraeus, who oversees U.S. military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. A Central Command statement said the talks focused on cooperation in "countering extremist violence in Afghanistan, as well as U.S. support for Pakistan's struggle against violent extremists."

Further talks this week in Washington are due to be led by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and are expected to cover security issues, as well as Pakistani economic development, water, energy, education, communications, public diplomacy, and agriculture issues.

compiled from agency reports
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