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Carter meets with government, military officials in Pakistan

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September 19, 2013 | Across DoD
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Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter is escorted to his awaiting motorcade by Gen. Khalid Shameem, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for Pakistan, after the two met during Carter’s visit to Islamabad, Pakistan, Monday. Glenn Fawcett, DoD
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Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter thanks U.S. Marines and other forces assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, for their service, Monday. Glenn Fawcett, DoD
WASHINGTON - Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter traveled to Pakistan Monday and met with senior Pakistani government and defense officials, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said.

In a statement, Little said Carter met with Sartaj Aziz, advisor to the prime minister for foreign affairs and national security; Gen. Khalid Shameem Wynn, chairman of Pakistan’s Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee; and Chief of Army Staff Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

During his meetings, the press secretary said, Carter expressed his condolences for the recent killing by extremists of three Pakistani military personnel, including Maj. Gen. Sanaullaha, commander of Swat Division. He also discussed the significantly improved bilateral defense relationship between the United States and Pakistan, which has made important contributions to the security interests of both countries, Little added.

Carter also met at the U.S. Embassy with U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson and Lt. Gen. Greg Biscone, commander of the Office of the Defense Representative Pakistan. While at the embassy, Little said, the deputy secretary thanked U.S. personnel serving in the defense representative’s office and the embassy’s Marine Corps security detachment for their service and continued dedication.

The trip to Pakistan came on the heels of a three-day visit to Afghanistan, where Carter met with senior International Security Assistance Force, coalition and Afghan officials.

In a statement summarizing the visit, Little said Carter met in the Afghan capital of Kabul with Defense Minister Bismillah Khan Mohammadi, Interior Minister Umar Daudzai and members of the Afghan Parliament to stress the importance of a timely conclusion to the bilateral security agreement that will spell out the terms of the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan once the current mission ends there in December 2014.

Carter also stressed the importance of timely, free and fair elections in Afghanistan next year, the press secretary added.

In addition, he said, the deputy secretary noted the “tremendous progress” made by the Afghan national security forces this fighting season, the first in which they've assumed full lead.

Carter also met with U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan James Cunningham and ISAF Commander Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. to discuss progress made on concluding the bilateral security agreement, supporting the Afghan forces and setting conditions for a stable and secure Afghanistan in 2015 and beyond, Little said.

The deputy secretary also visited ISAF and Afghan forces in Bastion, Shindand, Gardez and Ghazni to commend them on their ongoing efforts and successes, the press secretary said, and he thanked Polish forces at Ghazni and the 203rd Afghan National Army Corps at Gardez.

He also visited Herat to pay tribute to the men and women affected by the Sept. 13 attack on the U.S. consulate there, and to praise Afghan and ISAF forces for their quick and decisive action, Little said.
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