Tillerson Affirms Afghanistan Commitments In Unannounced Visit

Oct 25, 2017, 00:57
Tillerson Affirms Afghanistan Commitments In Unannounced Visit

"(Pakistan is) important regionally to our joint goals of providing peace and security to the region and providing opportunity for greater economic relationship as well", Tillerson said.

"We are committed to the war against terrorism...and we look forward to moving ahead with the USA and building, as you said, an economic relationship", the Pakistani prime minister said in response to Tillerson's comments.

"Pakistan needs to, I think, take a clear-eyed view of the situation that they're confronted with in terms of the number of terrorist organizations that find safe haven inside of Pakistan", Tillerson said after concluding the talks.

The third round of talks was held in Islamabad when an interagency USA delegation visited the Pakistani capital with details of the new United States strategy for South Asia announced by President Donald Trump on Aug 21.

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"To do that you can not have a safe haven in Pakistan", he said.

Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani would be in Delhi on Tuesday for a one day "working visit" to review the bilateral relations between the two countries.

"I think the USA has made it clear in terms of our support for Afghanistan, support for a sovereign, unified, and democratic Afghanistan, charting a path to peace, prosperity, and self-reliance".

Tillerson, who is on a tour to regional countries, is the first high-ranking American official to travel to Islamabad after President Donald Trump unveiled his strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia in August.

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CIA Director Mike Pompeo told a Washington-based group, the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, the couple was held in Pakistan for the entire length of their captivity.

United States and Pakistani sources say Tillerson's visit to Islamabad will be followed later in the year by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis as Trump seeks to send a tough message to the wayward Cold War ally.

Tillerson, who is on a week-long trip that began in Saudi Arabia and will also take him to Pakistan and India, arrived without public announcement due to security concerns.

In September, India worked with Afghanistan and identified priorities and projects where Kabul needed New Delhi's assistance.

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