Army chief meets US state secy, military leadership in Washington

Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, who accompanied Prime Minister Imran Khan on his three-day official trip to Washington, met United States Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and the country’s top military leadership during his visit.

Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) spokesperson Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, in a series of tweets on Wednesday, gave an update on the military chief’s engagements in the US.

Apart from Pompeo, the chief of army staff met Acting Defense Secretary Richard Spencer, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Gen Joseph F. Dunford and Joint Chief of Staff Gen Mark Milley. He was also part of the delegation that accompanied the prime minister on his visit to the White House.

Gen Bajwa was received at Pentagon by Gen Dunford and was presented a 21-gun salute.

Regional security situation and bilateral military cooperation between Pakistan and US dominated the discussions between Gen Bajwa and US military leadership.

“US leadership acknowledged contributions of Pakistan Army in the war against terrorism and [its] role towards the Afghan peace process,” ISPR Director General Maj Gen Ghafoor shared on his official Twitter account.

The ongoing Afghan peace process remained a major point of discussion during Gen Bajwa’s meeting with US Secretary of State Pompeo. The two also talked about the importance of bilateral relations between the two countries.

“Pakistan attaches great importance to restoring a robust bilateral relationship based on mutual respect, trust and shared values,” the army chief was quoted as saying by DG ISPR.

In a meeting with US Senator Lindsay Graham and retired US Gen Jack Keane, the army chief said that healthy relations between both countries were important for regional stability.

“Bilateral relationship holds potential for both countries and would also assist in regional stability,” Gen Bajwa was quoted as saying.

He briefed Graham and Keane on the improved security situation of Pakistan and also highlighted the “resulting opportunities” for foreign investors.

Gen Bajwa also paid homage to US national heroes at the Arlington National Cemetery, where a special ceremony was held during which the national anthems of both countries were played.

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