NATO official vows to broaden ties with Pakistan

09:36, May 21, 2010      

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A top official of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Thursday vowed to broaden relationship with Pakistan and not limit it to military cooperation alone.

"Pakistan is NATO's valued partner and our common challenge is war in Afghanistan," Deputy Assistant Secretary General of NATO, Robert Simmons said in Islamabad.

Speaking at a public talk at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) on "NATO's Transition and its Relation with Pakistan," Simmons emphasized that NATO does not want to limit to high level dialogue with Pakistan but also to have practical cooperation by making use of the instrument of Individual Cooperation Program to cover civilian and military affairs.

He said that there is need to cooperate in public diplomacy so that Pakistan can be informed by NATO's changes. "NATO is also trying to reach out its arms to be informed about the situations in Pakistan like distinguishing tribal leaders from Taliban."

He said NATO encourages Pakistan participation in Arms Control and Non Proliferation issues, adding NATO is happy with the partnership with Pakistan.

Simmons said that NATO pays tribute to Pakistan Military for their role in fighting terrorism in their own country that will lead to regional stability.

Talking about Afghanistan Simmons said that it's a difficult operation and "we are committed to a long-term approach."

Source: Xinhua


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