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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and the United States have expressed the resolve to deepen cooperation and continue dialogue on restarting and introducing counterterrorism programmes to assist Islamabad’s efforts “to better counter all forms of violent extremism.”

The two-day Pakistan-US counterterrorism dialogue concluded here on Tuesday with senior officials of the United States and their Pakistani counterparts exchanging views on the efforts and mutual cooperation to counter militancy. However, the two sides issued separate handouts instead of a joint statement due to unspecified reasons.

In a statement issued after the conclusion of the talks, the US Embassy stated that the two-day policy-focused meeting was chaired by the US Department of State Acting Coordinator for Counterterrorism, Christopher Landberg, and Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Additional Secretary for the UN and Economic Diplomacy Syed Haider Shah.

Pak-US counterterrorism talks kicked off

“The dialogue provided an opportunity to discuss the counterterrorism landscape in Pakistan and the broader region, with a focus on areas where the United States and Pakistan can better collaborate to counter regional and global threats, improve cooperation, prevent and counter violent extremism, and combat terrorism financing,” it added.

It added: “Both governments resolved to increase dialogue on these topics and continue discussing paths to restart or introduce counterterrorism programs to assist Pakistan’s efforts to better counter all forms of violent extremism.”

It further stated that the counterterrorism dialogue underscores the deepening cooperation between the United States and Pakistan in a range of areas. These partnerships are being advanced through high-level bilateral meetings like the recently concluded Trade and Investment Framework (TIFA) Council Ministerial in Washington, DC, and the upcoming Strategic Energy Dialogue and Climate and Environment Working Group meetings in Pakistan, it added.

The embassy further stated that the counterterrorism dialogue is just one example of an ever-stronger bilateral relationship based on shared values and interests, and it reaffirms the United States’ and Pakistan’s shared determination to contribute to both regional and global security and stability.

In a separate statement, the Foreign Office said that the two-day discussions covered a range of topics including counterterrorism cooperation at multilateral forums, assessment of regional counterterrorism landscape, cyber security, and countering violent extremism.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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