US vice president-elect arrives in Pakistan for talks

January 9th, 2009 - 7:47 pm ICT by IANS  

TalibanIslamabad, Jan 9 (DPA) US vice president-elect Joe Biden arrived in Pakistan Friday as part of a tour of the South Asian region less than a fortnight before his inauguration, officials said.Biden, who is accompanied by a congressional delegation, will be holding discussions with Pakistan’s top political and military leadership on “bilateral relations and the regional situation,” an official of the Pakistani foreign ministry said.

The US senator was scheduled to meet Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

Although the ministry official did not speak about any specific item on the agenda, it was believed the talks would focus on tensions in the aftermath of the Mumbai terrorist attacks and Pakistan’s role in the US-led fight against terrorism along the Afghan frontier.

Pakistan’s tribal regions are considered a safe haven for Taliban and Al Qaeda militants, who regularly launch cross-border attacks on international forces operating in Afghanistan.

Relations between Washington and Islamabad are showing signs of strain due to dozens of US airstrikes on militant targets inside Pakistan in recent months.

The government in Islamabad has repeatedly said that such attacks would prove counter-productive to the common goal of rooting out terrorism and extremism.

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