United States defence chief Mattis to visit Pakistan on Dec 4

US defence chief Mattis to visit Pakistan on Dec 4

During the tour, he will re-affirm the US' enduring commitment to partnerships in the Middle East, West Africa and South Asia.

U.S. officials have always been frustrated by what they see as Pakistan's reluctance to act against groups such as the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network that they believe exploit safe haven on Pakistani soil to launch attacks on neighbouring Afghanistan. "So I expect to see that sort of action reflected in their policies", Mattis said during his visit to Egypt.

He will also visit Egypt, Jordan and Kuwait during his tour. Trump while announcing the strategy had criticised Pakistan for providing safe havens to terrorists. "So we expect them to act in their own best interest, and in support of peace and regional stability", he said.

The US Defense Secretary also said that Washington wants progress in Pakistan-US relations.

In this November 30, 2017, photo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis responds to a reporter's question during a meeting with Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Serraj at the Pentagon.

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Earlier while talking to media, James Mattis said that he is making first trip to Pakistan as secretary of defense.

Asked if he was going to press the Pakistani leaders to take more action against the insurgents, Mattis said: "That's not the way I deal with issues. But what we're looking for is to broaden the common ground and make certain that no terrorist organisation is seen as able to operate from a haven there", he said.

"There's plenty of collaborative areas, right now, still in effect".

Mattis had said in October 2017, the U.S. would try "one more time" to work with Pakistan in Afghanistan before President Donald Trump would turn to options to address Islamabad's alleged support for militant groups. Mattis will meet with Pakistan leaders Monday to seek common ground on the counterterrorism fight, amid the Trump administration calls for Islamabad to more aggressively go after the insurgents moving back and forth across the border with Afghanistan.

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