The commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan discussed border coordination with Pakistan's army chief Thursday during his first visit to Pakistan since it ended its seven-month blockade of NATO supplies.
A joint statement released after the meeting quoted General John Allen as saying he is pleased with the “upward spiral” in the U.S.-Pakistan relationship that such visits represent. He said the two sides are making “significant progress toward building a partnership that is enduring, strategic, carefully defined and that enhances the security and prosperity of the region.”
Pakistani General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani said the meeting with General Allen helped improve understanding between the Pakistani military and the NATO-led force in Afghanistan.
The commanders said the two sides, along with Afghan forces, share many interests, including a commitment to expanding opportunities for coordinated action against terrorists on both sides of the border. They also share a responsibility for protecting Afghan and Pakistani soldiers in the border region.
Pakistan closed NATO supply lines into Afghanistan in November after U.S. airstrikes mistakenly killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. The country agreed to reopen the routes early last month after the U.S. said it was “sorry” for the deaths.
General Allen's visit comes after the U.S. and Pakistan signed a deal Tuesday outlining the movement of NATO supply convoys into Afghanistan through the end of 2015. The agreement formalizes an arrangement that has allowed the U.S. to supply its troops during more than a decade of war.