Pakistan to get F16s very soon: US

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Islamabad can fully protect its nukes

Washington—US State Department Spokesman Kohn Kirby has said that US considers Pakistan as an important partner in the region and expressed the commitment to continue cooperation with Pakistan. He said Pakistan can fully protect its nuclear weapons.
“We believe it’s in our vital national security interests to support Pakistan in carrying out its efforts to destroy terrorist networks,” he said during the media briefing.
The United States renewed its appeal to the Taliban to join peace talks and said that Afghan ad US forces would have to prepare themselves for the prospect of increased violence in the spring and summer if the insurgent group did not agree to negotiations.
John Kirby said that US backed a call by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani for the radical Islamists to join talks with the Kabul government.
“They have a choice. Rather than continuing to fight their fellow Afghans and destabilizing their country, they should engage in a peace process and ultimately become a legitimate part of the political system of sovereign united Afghanistan” Kirby said.
While talking to a private channel State Department Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner said that the matter of proposed sale of F16 fighter jets to Pakistan is still pending in US congress. He hoped that the fighter jets would be delivered to Pakistan very soon.
Mark Toner said that US consider Pakistan as an important ally in the region and welcomed Pakistan’s efforts to support Afghan-led reconciliation talks, for example. They hosted the Heart of Asia ministerial (meeting) recently and two of the first three meetings of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group.—SABAH

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