Kerry assures U.S. support to Pakistan as both sides open Strategic Dialogue

Kerry assures U.S. support to Pakistan as both sides open Strategic Dialogue
# 13 January 2015 01:48 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday assured support to Pakistan in his meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Islamabad, officials said, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

Kerry arrived in Islamabad Monday evening on a two-day visit following his trip to India.

He called on the Pakistani prime minister and held the first round of the Strategic Dialogue with Pakistan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

"The United States would continue to support Pakistan in effectively combating terrorism and also addressing various other challenges," Kerry told Sharif.

Kerry extended condolences of the U.S. government and people on last month's tragic Taliban attack on an army-run school in Peshawar that killed 140 children and 10 staff members, a statement from the Prime Minister's Office said.

"Terrorists are the common enemy of the two countries," the statement quoted the U.S. secretary of state as saying.

Sharif said the United States is a vital component of Pakistan' s foreign policy and appreciated U.S. President Obama's message of friendship and cooperation in the aftermath of the Peshawar attack on Dec. 16.

"The prime minister highlighted Pakistan's focus on greater market access for Pakistani products and the U.S. investment in Pakistan for creating job opportunities," the statement said. He expressed the hope that next Business Opportunities Conference to be held in Islamabad in March 2015 will receive good response from U.S. investors.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the first round of discussions under Pakistan-United States Strategic Dialogue was held Monday evening.

The Pakistani delegation was led by Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, while the U.S. side was led by Kerry.

Further in-depth discussions, covering the entire spectrum of bilateral relations and other issues of mutual interest, will continue on Tuesday, the foreign ministry said.

The Strategic Dialogue focuses mainly on energy, security, strategic stability, nonproliferation, counter-terrorism, economy, law enforcement and defense-related issues.