COAS leaves to attend talks in US

Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani left Saturday for United States of America on an official visit to participate in Pak-US Strategic Dialogue scheduled to commence from March 24.

According to ISPR, the Chief of Army Staff is visiting USA on the special invitation of Commander United States Military Central Command, General David Petraeus.

During the visit, COAS is scheduled to meet senior Military and Government officials of USA in Tampa and Washington. Earlier, COAS was seen off at Lahore Airport by the Acting Corps Commander and other senior military officials.

During his stay in United States, he would also hold important meetings with US Defence Secretary Roberts Gates, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Admiral Michael Mullen, US Army Chief George W. Casey and Commander United States Military Central Command General David Petraeus, military sources informed Online.

Issue related to Pak-US Defence and military relations, security situation of the region, ongoing military operation against Afghan Taliban in Helmand by US and allied troops, new US strategy for Afghanistan, Pakistan’s military and defense needs would be discussed during the meeting, sources added.

It is expected that the US would make announcement framework with regard to supply of drone technology and F-16 jet fighters to Pakistan, sources added.

A high-level Pakistani delegation comprised on Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar, Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance Hafeez Sheikh, Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir, Defence Secretary Syed Athar Ali and other civil and military officials would arrive in New York via PIA flight from where they would head to Washington via Delta airline.

Senior officers of Pentagon would welcome the Chief of the Army Staff upon his arrival at Washington from where he would go to Tampa, city of Florida via special flight.

In Tampa, he would visit CENTCOM Headquarters where he would be welcomed by Head CENTCOM General David Petraeus and Commander United States Military Central Command General David Petraeus.

General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani would also be chief guest in a ceremony to be held on Tuesday at Pakistan Embassy in connection with Pakistan Day.

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