US: Pakistan Intelligence Chief CIA Talks Successful

Posted July 14th, 2011 at 8:15 pm (UTC-5)
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American and Pakistani spy chiefs held what are reported to have been successful talks at the Central Intelligence Agency in Washington Thursday, days after the United States decided to suspend $800 million in aid to Pakistan.

A U.S. official, who requested anonymity, was quoted as saying talks between Ahmad Shuja Pasha and acting CIA Director Michael Morell went well and that the two “agreed on a number of steps that will improve Pakistani and U.S. national security.”

The Pakistani military said the talks were meant to coordinate intelligence matters.

Meanwhile, the outgoing commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan and incoming CIA director, General David Petraeus, met with Pakistan's army chief, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, in Islamabad Thursday. The Pakistani military said the two discussed matters of “professional interest.” Kayani held talks with the head of U.S. Central Command, General James Mattis, the day before.

The meetings follow comments Wednesday by Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, who expressed concern about the U.S. decision to suspend one-third of its annual military aid to his country. Mr. Gilani said that while the fight against militants on Pakistani territory is Pakistan's war, the country's efforts are benefiting the whole world.

Relations between the United States and Pakistan have been strained since the covert U.S. raid deep into Pakistani territory that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden on May 2.

A Pentagon spokesman said earlier this week the decision to withhold a third of its military aid to Pakistan is in response to Islamabad's decision to expel American military trainers and put limits on visas for U.S. personnel.