U.S., Pakistan defense officials end talks over Afghanistan drawdow
U.S. and Pakistani defense officials concluded a defense dialogue Friday in Washington, focusing on the security situation during and after the U.S. troops drawdown in Afghanistan, the Pentagon announced, Xinhua reported.
According to a Pentagon statement, officials held the 22nd meeting of the U.S.-Pakistan Defense Consultative Group, a working group under the strategic dialogue framework from Thursday and Friday. The two sides were led by U.S. Under Secretary of Defense for Policy James Miller and Asif Yasin Malik, Pakistan's secretary of defense.
The two sides reviewed the challenges to regional security, emphasizing the importance of regional peace and stability, especially in the wake of the U.S. drawdown in Afghanistan, underscoring the critical significance of cross-border cooperation between Pakistan and Afghanistan to achieve shared objectives.
During the discussion, the Pakistan delegation provided an update on its military campaign along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, and the U.S. delegation briefed on International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) activities in Afghanistan, including the 2013 transition of lead for security to the Afghan National Security Forces, the Pentagon said.
The Defense Consultative Group is the primary forum for exchanging views and coordinating defense policy between the two countries, with the goal of strengthening defense cooperation to support each country's security interests, according to the Pentagon. The DCG last met in December 2012 in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
U.S. forces are slated to withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of 2014.