Islamabad, December 04, 2012 (PPI-OT): The 21st meeting of the U.S.-Pakistan Defence Consultative Group (DCG) was held in Rawalpindi, Pakistan on December 3-4, 2012. The two nations’ delegations were respectively led by Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Asif Yasin Malik, Pakistan’s Secretary of Defense, and Dr. James N. Miller, the U.S. Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.
The DCG is the primary forum for exchanging views and coordinating defense policy with the goal of strengthening cooperation to support each country’s security interests. The DCG last met in May 2011 in Washington, D.C.
Both delegations welcomed the resumption of bilateral security cooperation and agreed that relations between the two countries should be based on the principles of strategic desirability, political sustainability, trust, and mutual respect. Both delegations acknowledged that bilateral counterterrorism cooperation has been critical to weakening violent extremists and underscores the importance of continuing cooperation to complete the defeat of al-Qaeda and its affiliates in the region. Both sides affirmed their mutual commitment to a strong defense relationship which they stressed should focus on achieving common objectives.
During the plenary session DCG participants shared their respective assessments of the bilateral relationship and discussed each country’s strategic priorities, and agreed on areas for future defense cooperation. Both delegations concluded that the discussions to reopen the NATO-led Coalition’s ground supply lines and the resumption of bilateral consultations on regional security were significant achievements over the past six months.
The Pakistani delegation provided an update on its military campaign along its western border and the U.S. side briefed on International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) activities in Afghanistan, including efforts to transition the lead for security to Afghan forces. In light of the tragic November 2011 cross-border incident, both sides expressed appreciation for the efforts by their respective militaries to improve operational coordination. They both expressed their deep appreciation for the sacrifices of all military personnel and civilians in the common fight.
Both sides reviewed the numerous challenges facing regional security, and shared their views regarding the importance of regional peace and stability. Recognizing the enduring security requirements on both sides of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, the two delegations agreed to cooperate on a prioritized set of Pakistan’s defense requirements which will inform follow-on consultations on security assistance. The United States and Pakistan also discussed the importance of the Coalition Support Fund and Security Assistance Programs, and agreed to continued consultations on the way forward.
The delegations reaffirmed the DCG remains an invaluable forum to discuss strategic defense policy issues and exchange views on shared security concerns, and committed to continue working together to implement a framework for defense cooperation based on areas of convergence between U.S. and Pakistani interests to promote peace and stability in the region.
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