Joe Biden meets Pak Army chief Raheel Sharif, promises to build 'a strong partnership'

Washington: US Vice President Joe Biden met with visiting Pakistan Army Chief General Raheel Sharif and the two leaders discussed regional and security situation in Afghanistan, officials said.

Sharif had a meeting Thursday with Biden at the historic Roosevelt Room of the White House, a privilege rarely accorded to a foreign country's serving army chief.

"The Vice President reaffirmed the United States' interest in building a strong partnership with Pakistan that addresses our shared counterterrorism, economic, and regional security concerns," the White House said in a statement.

 Joe Biden meets Pak Army chief Raheel Sharif, promises to build a strong partnership

Pakistan Army Chief General Raheel Sharif and US Vice-President Joe Biden. Image courtesy Asim Bajway/@AsimBajwaISPR

Biden thanked Sharif for his steadfast support to counterterrorism cooperation with the United States, it said, adding that he also underscored the importance of expanding efforts to help further strengthening of regional security.

"Both leaders reaffirmed their strong commitment to peace in Afghanistan and the important role that the US and Pakistan can play to support a reinvigorated reconciliation process in coordination with Afghanistan," the White House said.

Biden's meeting with Sharif followed the Vice President's 22 October breakfast in Washington with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

In a series of tweets, Pakistan army spokesman Director-General Lieutenant General Asim Bajwa said Sharif and Biden stressed early resumption of reconciliation process with the Taliban achieve lasting peace in Afghanistan, which they argued is critical to peace and stability in the region.

Acknowledging Pakistan's crucial role for peace, Biden recognised Pakistan's immense sacrifices both in terms of human lives and economic losses and reiterated firm American commitment to work closely with Pakistan in all areas of mutual interest, deepening, expanding cooperation to counter new and emerging threats, Bajwa said.

General Sharif gave a Pakistani perspective of security and stability in the region, which he emphasised, needs to be understood, his spokesman said.

PTI

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Updated Date: Nov 20, 2015 11:28:42 IST