Mullen, Kayani visit flood-hit areas in Pak

To date, the US has provided USD 200 million in flood relief to Pakistan.

Islamabad: Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrived here on Thursday to hold consultations with Pakistan Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

Kayani and Mullen visited flood-hit areas of the country during the day.

Mullen emphasised on the US’ commitment to supporting Pakistan during the flood crisis and "into the future as a partner and friend", said a statement issued by the US embassy.

Mullen`s visit to Pakistan "continues a tradition of regular bilateral consultations between the US and Pakistan".

He last visited Pakistan in July.

This is Mullen`s 20th visit to Pakistan since becoming the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in October 2007.

In a separate development, US Coast Guard representatives are in Pakistan to meet their counterparts from the Maritime Security Agency and the Ports and Shipping Ministry to explore opportunities for training exchanges and reciprocal visits.

During the visit, Coast Guard officials emphasised on the US’ commitment to support Pakistan`s flood relief efforts and the people during their time of need.

To date, the US has provided USD 200 million in flood relief and significant in-kind and technical assistance.

As part of the cooperation, the US and Pakistan have increased their ability to implement the International Port Security Program through exchange of visits and sponsored training.

The US Coast Guard has assisted Pakistan in acquiring shore-patrol boats to enable maritime security forces to respond to emergencies, protect coasts, and confront maritime threats.

In February, the US provided five 42-foot fast patrol boats, plus supplies, to the Maritime Security Agency for use in law enforcement operations.