Top NATO Commander in Talks with Pakistan Army Chief
The top commander of NATO-led forces in Afghanistan held talks with Pakistan's army chief in Islamabad Saturday on how to improve security in volatile areas bordering the two countries.
U.S. General John Allen met General Ashfaq Kayani in the Pakistani capital ahead of a high-level meeting of NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), officials said.
The ISAF delegation arrived for the most significant talks that Pakistan has hosted with the international military alliance and the Afghan military for a year, in a sign that tensions between Pakistan and the U.S. are easing.
The Pakistani military said in a statement that preliminary meetings between General Allen and Kayani focused on "operations in border areas and coordination mechanisms to avoid untoward incidents."
"The tripartite commission is expected to meet after the arrival of Afghan army chief, General Sher Muhammed Karimi on Sunday", a senior security official told Agence France Presse.
He said the date and time of the commission's meeting will be disclosed later.
The commission will focus on enhancing measures along the Pak-Afghan border and to improve co-operation at operational and tactical levels, the military said.
Pakistani leaders are also scheduled to meet next week to discuss ending a nearly six-month blockade on NATO supplies into Afghanistan.
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani will convene the meetings which will also debate how to repair relations with the United States in time to attend a key NATO summit later this month.
Diplomats on both sides have been keen to resolve the impasse between Islamabad and Washington before the NATO summit on Afghanistan in Chicago on May 21-22.