Statement: US national security adviser arrives s Kabul

USA national security adviser H.R. McMaster was in Kabul on Sunday for what is the first visit by a Trump administration official to Afghanistan, officials here said, coming just days after us forces dropped a 22,000-pound bomb on militants there and revived debate over the war.

He welcomed President Trump's willingness to help Pakistan and India resolve their differences particularly on Kashmir and noted that this could go a long way in bringing sustainable peace, security and prosperity to the region. "And we'll be prepared to execute whatever decision he makes", he said.

A statement issued by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's office said Mr McMaster had 'assured the Prime Minister that the new administration was committed to strengthening bilateral relations and working with Pakistan, to achieve peace and stability in Afghanistan and in the wider South Asian region'.

Lt. General McMaster was assisted in the meeting by David Hale, US Ambassador, Laurel Miller, Acting U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Senior Director for South Asia Lisa Curtis and Director Pakistan Jay Wise in the National Security Council.

Sharing his concerns over the deteriorating security in Afghanistan and the continuing impasse, Sharif conveyed Pakistan's readiness to work with the global community to explore ways to solve the Afghan crisis, it said.

On Thursday the U.S. military in Afghanistan dropped its GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast, dubbed the "Mother of All Bombs", in combat for the first time on ISIS hideouts in the Achin district of Nangarhar province.

McMaster's visit is the first of a senior Trump administration official to the country, where the USA has almost 9,000 troops engaged in a train, advise, and assist mission.

Sartaj Aziz said Pakistan and the U.S. have been close friends over decades and that a continued strong partnership remained critical to promoting peace and stability in the wider region.

Incidentally, McMaster's visit to Afghanistan came just a day after the U.S. dropped its biggest non-nuclear bomb on Nangarhar province of that country, killing some 100 IS militants.

Sartaj was assisted by National Security Adviser Nasser Khan Janjua, Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi and senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Earlier, McMaster also met Aziz, who gave a detailed briefing on the policies being pursued by the Pakistan government that have resulted in improved security environment and the "economic turnaround" in Pakistan, the Foreign Office here said in a statement.

India has already rejected any role for the USA in mediating between New Delhi and Islamabad.

NUG leaders have said that McMaster will brief the White House about the situation in Afghanistan on the basis of which the USA will outline its long term program for Afghanistan.

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