Sharif for strengthening strategic dialogue between Pak, US

Last Updated: Monday, June 17, 2013 - 17:10

Islamabad: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has called for strengthening the strategic dialogue between Pakistan and the US, saying he is committed to consolidating ties on the "basis of mutual trust".

Sharif, who also holds the foreign affairs portfolio, made the remarks when US Secretary of State John Kerry telephoned him yesterday, said a statement issued by the Foreign Office on Monday.

The premier "underscored the need to strengthen the Strategic Dialogue between the two countries" and "emphasised the importance of regular high-level exchanges between the two sides in order to build on mutual interests and shared goals", the statement said.

Sharif also "reiterated his government`s resolve to further consolidate and strengthen relations with the US on the basis of mutual trust and mutual respect".

During the call, Kerry conveyed his felicitations on Sharif?s assumption of the office as Prime Minister. He reaffirmed the "importance of Pakistan-US bilateral relations for enduring peace and stability in the region".

Kerry reassured Sharif that the US administration "remained steadfast in supporting the new democratic government in Pakistan". The two leaders discussed the regional situation and Kerry provided "an update on recent developments and expressed appreciation for Pakistan`s positive role in advancing peace and stability in the region", the statement said.

Pakistan-US ties have run into rough weather over the CIA`s secret drone campaign in the tribal belt bordering Afghanistan. Since he became premier, Sharif has said several times that the drone attacks must stop.
Despite Sharif`s protests, the US has continued with its drone campaign. Waliur Rehman, the deputy chief of the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, was killed in a recent drone strike.
The Taliban withdrew its offer of peace talks with the government after his death.

PTI



First Published: Monday, June 17, 2013 - 17:10

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