Brussels, 27 November 2021 (TDI): The Director-General of the NATO International Military Staff, Lieutenant General Hans-Werner Wiermann hosted high-level Pakistani officials. Military talks were held between both sides at the NATO headquarters.

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Lieutenant General Muhammad Waseem Ashraf, Pakistan’s Director-General of the Joint Staff was received by his counterpart Lieutenant General Wiermann. The talks were held after a delay for a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The directors discussed the various security challenges that both NATO and Pakistan face. Reflecting on the importance of Pakistan-NATO relations General Wiermann said that, “Pakistan is a critical partner in the war on terror and terrorism continues to pose a threat to the security of our populations and international stability.” He stressed that NATO values military cooperation with Pakistan.

General Wiermann lauded Pakistan’s continued efforts to combat terrorism.

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He also extended thanks to General Ashraf for Pakistan’s unhindered support to the NATO Alliance’s efforts in the region.

General Wiermann reflected on the Alliance’s all-encompassing approach to deterrence, defense, and projection of stability as an integral part of its role in the fight against terrorism.

He further added that combating terrorism is not the responsibility of a single nation or organization but is rather a shared responsibility.

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He insisted that if Allies and its partners work together they have greater opportunity to ‘act and protect’.

Both sides concluded the staff talks by agreeing on a plan of military to military cooperation for the year ahead. General Wiermann added that both sides have a lot to learn from each other and that greater co-operation between both sides will further strengthen the Pakistan-NATO partnership.

The visiting military delegation also held multiple meetings. These included meetings with Admiral Rob Bauer, the Chair of the Military Committee, Mr. Nick Dean, Deputy Senior Civilian Representative for Afghanistan, Lieutenant General Brice Houdet, SHAPE Vice Chief of Staff, and Rear Admiral Bulent Turan, SHAPE Deputy Chief of Staff, Partnership Directorate.