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NATO Commander meets Pakistan army chief

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, July 13, IRNA -- NATO International Security Force Commander, General David Petraeus, visited Pakistan Monday to meet with Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, US embassy said.

This was Gen. Petraeus' first visit to Pakistan as the NATO-ISAF Commander, although he has long-established relationships with the Pakistani military from his time as the US Central Command (CENTCOM) chief, the embassy said in a statement.

His last visit to Pakistan was May 2-3.

"Recent events demonstrate both the common threat posed to Pakistan and Afghanistan by insurgents and the efforts that the Pakistan military are making to counter this threat," said Gen. Petraeus.

"I look forward to continuing to work with General Kayani to identify areas of mutual interest and to cooperate in efforts that can help improve regional security."

David Petraeus, was appointed last month after the sacking of disgraced Stanley McChrystal as commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan.

Sources said that the US commander has discussed with the Pakistan Army chief his strategies for the war-shattered Afghanistan, where some 150,000 troops have been fighting Taliban for over five years.

Reports in the US media suggest that General Petraeus is creating US-backed local militias, a tactic that he had employed when he was the top US commander of forces in Iraq.

The new American commander's plan to arm the Afghan villagers to fight the Taliban is reportedly opposed by US-backed President Hamid Karzai, according to the Washington Post.

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