U.S., India discuss defence, counter-terrorism cooperation

| Updated: Apr 18, 2017 19:04 IST

New Delhi [India], Apr 18 (ANI): U.S. National Security Advisor (NSA) Lieutenant General H. R. McMaster emphasized the importance of U.S.-India strategic relationship and reaffirmed India's designation as a major defence partner. The two sides discussed a range of bilateral and regional issues, including their shared interest in increasing defence and counter-terrorism cooperation. The visit was a part of regional consultations that included stops in Kabul and Islamabad. The U.S. NSA departed from India today after productive meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar. McMaster yesterday met Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and discussed bilateral ties, Afghan situation and rising tensions between India, Pakistan. Lt. Gen. McMaster also met Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz in Islamabad. Aziz briefed Lt. Gen. McMaster on the policies being pursued by the Pakistan government that have resulted in improved security environment and economic turnaround in the country. The Dawn quoted Aziz, as saying that that Pakistan remains determined to continue its fight as part of the National Action Plan until terrorism is completely eliminated from the country. Expressing Pakistan's concerns over the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, Aziz reaffirmed Islamabad's commitment to working with the international community to support peace efforts in Afghanistan. He also stressed on the importance of effective border management to achieve sustainable peace in the region. Lt. Gen. McMaster thanked Aziz and acknowledged Pakistan's sacrifices in combating extremism and terrorism. He renewed the commitment of the new administration to work closely with Pakistan in strengthening mutually beneficial relations and towards the shared objectives of peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region. Lt. Gen. McMaster, who is on his maiden visit to Pakistan after being elected as President Donald Trump's National Security Advisor, will next visit India to assess the situation in the two countries and then report back to the White House. (ANI)

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