US lauds Pakistan’s support for Afghan peace

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During telephonic conversation, Sec. Austin and Gen. Bajwa discussed the importance of regional stability

RAWALPINDI (DNA): The United States’ Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III spoke by phone with Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Qamar Javed Bajwa to discuss regional stability and security.

During the call, Secretary Austin reaffirmed the importance of the U.S. – Pakistan bilateral relationship and expressed appreciation for Pakistan’s support for Afghanistan Peace Negotiations. Secretary Austin and General Bajwa also discussed the drawdown in Afghanistan.

According to the US Defense Department, Secretary Austin and General Bajwa discussed the importance of regional stability and the desire for the United States and Pakistan to continue working together on shared goals and objectives in the region.

Meanwhile, US officials urged American civilians and embassy employees to leave the country as soon as possible, given that a non-aggression agreement between the US and the Taliban is set to expire by May 1. US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad told senators in a Tuesday hearing that some diplomats who “are not necessary to be there” and “can do their job from elsewhere” will be withdrawn from the embassy. “It will not affect operation or the capabilities of the embassy. We are very much committed to that,” Khalilzad told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.