US Defence Secretary Austin vows to bolster partnership with Pakistan

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin has congratulated General Syed Asim Munir on his appointment as the Pakistan’s Chief of the Army Staff, noting that the two countries have a long-standing defence partnership, on Saturday.

US Secretary of Defence Lloyd J. Austin III on Friday rang up COAS General Asim Munir and extended felicitations, a press statement of the US Department of Defence read.

According to a Pentagon readout of the call, Secretary Austin congratulated General Munir and discussed areas of mutual interest as well as recent regional developments.

“Today I had the opportunity to congratulate General Asim Munir, Pakistan’s newly appointed Chief of Army Staff,” Mr Austin said.

“The United States and Pakistan have a long-standing defence partnership and I look forward to working with General Munir,” he said in a tweet.

Earlier in December, US Centcom Commander General Michael “Erik” Kurilla had also congratulated General Asim Munir on his new position and discussed the US-Pakistan security cooperation and strengthening the bilateral relationship. Gen Kurilla had spoken to General Asim Munir via a video teleconference. A statement from the US Centcom spokesman Col Joe Buccino had said General Asim Munir and General Kurilla had a previously established relationship from General Kurilla’s time as the Centcom Chief of Staff.