Statement: US national security adviser arrives s Kabul

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The Trump administration has also scaled up the air campaign against the Taliban, best on display Thursday with the use of the largest non-nuclear bomb in the military's arsenal on the Islamic State.

U.S. President Donald Trump's national security adviser met Afghan officials in Kabul on Sunday, amid questions over the new administration's plans for the military mission in Afghanistan after American forces unleashed a huge bomb there on militants.

McMaster met Prime Minister Sharif and Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa as well as top foreign policy and national security officials.

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

R. McMaster and both sides discussed mutual cooperation.

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

It also said Sharif would welcome USA mediation in Pakistan's disputes with India.

In his call on with Sharif, McMaster conveyed President Trump's greetings and assured the Prime Minister that the new administration was committed to strengthening bilateral ties and working with Pakistan, to achieve peace and stability in Afghanistan and in the wider South Asian region, it said.

Commenting on Pakistan's interference in Afghanistan, Lt. Gen. McMaster said that Islamabad should seek its interests in Afghanistan or any other country through political channels and not through violence.

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

Aziz reiterated Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's vision of a peaceful neighbourhood and commitment to dialogue and engagement while also apprising the visiting U.S. delegation of the steps taken by Pakistan to reach out to both India and Afghanistan, it said.

Conveying Pakistan's concerns over the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, Aziz reaffirmed Pakistan's commitment to working with the global community to support efforts for peace and reconciliation in the war-torn country.

Earlier, when talking with Pakistani Foreign Affairs advisor Sartaj Aziz, McMaster thanked Aziz and acknowledged Pakistan's sacrifice in combating extremism and terrorism.

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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