US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrived in Delhi Tuesday night on his maiden official visit to India, less than four hours after landing in Pakistan where he met the country’s top civil and military leadership.
During his three-day visit to India, he will call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and meet External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday.
Earlier on Tuesday, Tillerson met Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and other high-ranking Pakistani officials during his tour to South Asia and the Gulf region.
During the meeting the US Secretary of State underscored Pakistan’s regional importance. “Pakistan is important regionally to our joint goals of providing peace and security to the region and providing an opportunity for greater economic relationship,” he said.
PM Abbasi said that the country remains committed in the war on terror and is looking forward to moving ahead with the US and building a tremendous relationship.
“The US can rest assured that we are strategic partners in the war against terror and that today Pakistan is fighting the largest war in the world against terror,” said Abbasi.
The US Embassy, in a statement released, said the Secretary of State reiterated US President Trump’s message that Pakistan must increase its efforts to “eradicate militants and terrorists operating within the country”.
During the meeting, Tillerson also expressed appreciation for Pakistan’s sacrifices in the fight against terrorism.
“The Secretary also expressed his gratitude to the Government of Pakistan and the Pakistani Army for their cooperation in securing the release of the Boyle-Coleman family from captivity,” added the statement.
The meeting was attended by Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, DG ISI Lt General Naveed Mukhtar, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal and Defence Minister Khurram Dastagir.