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Petraeus discusses 'ways to improve regional security' with Kayani

Islamabad , Tue, 26 Apr 2011 ANI

Islamabad, April 26(ANI): General David Petraeus, Commander of the NATO International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, has held talks with Pakistan Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani on ways to bolster regional security.


General Petraeus "visited Pakistan to meet with General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff. They discussed topics of mutual interest and ways to improve regional security," the US Embassy said in a statement.


This is General Petraeus' sixth visit to Pakistan as NATO ISAF Commander, said the statement.


"He has long-established relationships with General Kayani and the Pakistani military from his time as the U.S. Central Command commander," the statement said, adding that his last visit to Pakistan was on January 31, 2011.


General Petraeus' surprising visit coincided with the publication of classified Guantanamo dossiers that were shown bracketing the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) with al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah and other international militant networks.


The US military classified Pakistan's premium spy agency as a terrorist support entity in 2007, and used association with it as a justification to detain prisoners in the Guantanamo Bay.


A document made available to The New York Times, said that detainees who were allegedly associated with the ISI "may have provided support to al-Qaeda or the Taliban, or engaged in hostilities against US or Coalition forces."


The reports were largely seen as further alienating the disaffected Pakistan, The Nation reports.


Before meeting General Kayani, Petraeus joined a top-level security session called by US President Barack Obama in the Situation Room of the White House via secure video-link.


Obama gathered top national security and intelligence staff for the review of Afghan and Pakistan strategy, amid suggestions of soaring tensions with Islamabad.


"The President received an update on our efforts to ensure effective cooperation with Pakistan against al Qaeda and other violent extremists," the White House said in a statement. (ANI)


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