Washington DC, 13 February 2023 (TDI): Second round of defense talks between Pakistan and the United States begins today at the Department of Defense.

The dialogue between both countries starts today, on 13-16 February, in Washington, DC.

The first round of the dialogue was held in Pakistan in January 2021.

The Pakistani delegation, headed by the Chief of General Staff (CGF) Lt Gen Mohammed Saeed, reached the US capital on Sunday afternoon.

The delegation includes two Major Generals, two Brigadiers, and a civilian representative, the Additional Secretary for Americas Muhammad Mudassir Tipu from the Ministry of foreign affairs.

Pakistan’s defense delegation will interact with their counterparts at the US Defence Department.

The US multi-team agency will be represented by the undersecretary of defense Colin Kahl.

Agenda of meeting

The dialogue agenda includes expanding coordination on strategic issues between the two countries.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that the  important mechanism for talks on bilateral issues includes Defense and security cooperation, strategic coordination, and key regional and global issues.”

In addition Minister of Foreign Affairs considers this an important forum for institutionalized dialogue and may lead to further talks at a higher level.

The issues of bilateral defense and security cooperation will be discussed during the defense dialogue.

The two military establishments have maintained close ties despite disagreements on political issues.

On Jan 13, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin also spoke by phone with the new Chief of Army Staff, Gen Asim Munir, congratulated him on his appointment, and discussed “areas of mutual interest as well as recent regional developments.”

It is also to be noted that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin hosted Farmer Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa in Washington, DC, in October 2021.

During the meeting, Lloyd Austin and Farner General Bajwa discussed a long-standing partnership and focussed on opportunities to address critical mutual defense interests.

Secretary Lloyd Austin said the US relationship with the Pakistani military would provide openings for both countries to cooperate on key issues.

He also termed Pakistan an “essential partner” in the region.

Also Read: Pakistan and US hope to strengthen ties

It is also pertinent to note that, Last month, Pakistan and the US agreed to optimize further military-to-military ties, particularly in training and operational domains.

The understanding was reached during a meeting between Air Chief Marshal Zaheer Ahmed Baber Sidhu and Commander of US Air Forces Central Command Lieutenant General Alexus Grynkewich in Islamabad.