The US Secretary of State John Kerry has telephoned Pakistani Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, and ‘reassured that the US Administration remained steadfast in supporting the new democratic government in Pakistan’, the Foreign Ministry said Monday.

Secretary Kerry provided an update on the recent developments and expressed appreciation for Pakistan’s positive role in advancing peace and stability in the region, a Foreign Ministry statement said.

“He reaffirmed the importance of Pakistan – US bilateral relations for enduring peace and stability in the region”.

During the call on Sunday, Secretary Kerry conveyed his felicitations on the assumption of office as Prime Minister of Pakistan.

The Prime Minister and Secretary Kerry also discussed the regional situation, the Foreign Ministry said.

 

The Prime Minister thanked Secretary Kerry for the felicitations and reiterated his government’s resolve to further consolidate and strengthen relations with the US on the basis of mutual trust and mutual respect.

 

The Prime Minister underscored the need to strengthen the Strategic Dialogue between the two countries, the statement said.

He also emphasized upon the importance of regular high level exchanges between the two sides in order to build on mutual interests and shared goals, it added.

 

The Foreign Ministry spokesman, Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, said last week that John Kerry will visit Pakistan later this month. However, the statement did not mention about the visit.

 

John Kerry made the phone call at a time when the two countries have serious differences over the US drone strikes in Pakistan.

Pakistan summoned the US charge d’ affaires earlier this month over recent drone strikes in North Waziristan tribal region which had killed 13 people.

Islamabad insists that the US drone strikes are violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and counterproductive, however, the has ruled out  any change in the CIA-controlled drones campaign.

The US says that the drones target al-Qaeda and Taliban militants in Pakistan’s tribal regions who are blamed for cross-border attacks into Afghanistan.

 

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