WASHINGTON, Sept 18 (APP):Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi NI (M) has said that Pakistan wishes to further build on its relationship with the United States on the basis on mutual respect, and mutuality of interests.
He made these remarks while talking to representatives of Pakistan and American media at the Pakistan Embassy in Washington.
The Naval chief is in Washington to attend the International Seapower Symposium (ISS). This is the first high-level visit by any Pakistan civil or military official since the new government of Prime Minister Imran Khan which was sworn-in last month.
The Naval chief said Pakistan was a very active member of Combined Task Force 151 (CTF 151) which took part in counter piracy and anti narcotics operations. The multinational naval task force was set up in 2009 as a response to piracy attacks.
Its mission was to disrupt piracy and armed robbery at sea and engage with regional and other partners to build and improve capacities to protect global maritime commerce and secure freedom of navigation.
The Naval chief said Pakistan would be holding a multilateral naval exercise in February 2019 in which 50 navies from around the world would participate including Chinese and the American navies.
This showed Pakistan was an important member of the comity of nations in the field of maritime security and our aim was to remain an effective partner in this area, he added.
Commenting on the Pakistan-US relationship, the Naval chief stated that Pakistan wished to further build on its relationship with the US based on mutual respect and mutuality of interests.
He also reiterated Pakistan’s position on the Afghan conflict and said that it would continue to support international efforts for peace in Afghanistan.
He said the government believed that an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace and reconciliation process was the only way forward.