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Pakistan Army chief Gen Bajwa meets with US defence secretary, NSA; discusses bilateral cooperation

WASHINGTON (PTI):  Pakistan's Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa has called on US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin, National Security Adviser Jacob Sullivan and other top officials and discussed matters of mutual interest, regional security and bilateral cooperation in various fields.

Bajwa's visit to the United States comes weeks before he is expected to retire after an extended six-year tenure.

"This long-standing partnership continues today with discussions focused on opportunities to address key mutual defence interests," the Pentagon said in a statement on Tuesday.

Austin hosted Gen Bajwa at the Pentagon during the 75th anniversary of relations between the United States and Pakistan, said the statement.

During the meeting on Tuesday, the leaders discussed matters of mutual interest, regional security and bilateral cooperation in various fields, the Dawn newspaper said.

Bajwa also met Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman.

The Army chief thanked the US officials for their support and reiterated that assistance from our global partners would be vital for the rescue and rehabilitation of flood victims in Pakistan, it quoted a Pakistani military statement as saying.

The floods have killed over 1,600 people and displaced more than 33 million others in Pakistan.

The floods have left a third of the country submerged under water and caused estimated damage of nearly USD 30 billion.

Both sides noted that Pakistan and the US had a long history of bilateral cooperation and that both countries shall continue improving their economic, trade and investment ties.

His visit to the US comes days after Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari's trip to the country.

During his visit, Bilawal met top officials of the Biden Administration, including Secretary of State Tony Blinken.

America's engagement with Pakistan, in particular with its military, has increased in recent months. Last month, the US announced a USD450 million F-16 fighter jet sustenance package for Pakistan.

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