The U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert wrapped up a three-day visit to Pakistan, May 14, after meeting with Prime Minister Sharif and top military officials in Islamabad and Karachi.
Greenert is the first of the Service Chiefs to meet with the new Prime Minister. Greenert stated it was a very productive trip. In addition to the Pakistan Ambassador and Prime Minister Sharif, he met with the Pakistan Chiefs of Army, Navy and Air Force.
Greenert’s visit ended in the capital with talks on a wide range of common security issues with the Prime Minister, Chief of Army Staff Gen. Raheel Sharif, and Chief of Naval Staff Adm. Asif Sandila. During meetings, Adm. Greenert and Sharif reaffirmed the importance of the U.S.-Pakistani security relationship to regional stability and agreed to continue to work together in order to enhance stronger partnership between the two nations.
Earlier in the trip, Admiral Greenert was in Karachi where he paid respect to Quaid-e-Azam at the Founders Tomb and addressed the midshipmen equivalent at the Pakistani Naval Academy. His remarks to the midshipmen focused on the importance of seapower and maritime partnerships. Greenert emphasized how navies must work together to increase maritime security and enhance global prosperity.
Greenert also met with Rear Adm. Syed Arifullah Hussaini, commander of Coastal Areas, and Vice Adm. Khan Hasham Bin Siddique, commander of the Pakistani Fleet, in order to gain awareness of Pakistan’s Maritime Security Organizations and to explore areas of additional maritime cooperation.
“It was a great opportunity to discuss our common interests, the importance of our relationships and reaffirm our Navy’s commitment to the region,” said Greenert.
As maritime partners with the U.S., Pakistan is a very active participant in multinational operations and exercises. On 11 different occasions during the past six years Pakistani Naval officers have commanded combined Task Forces 150/151.
According to the Islamabad embassy, U.S. assistance to Pakistan continues to help build the counter-insurgency and counterterrorism capabilities of Pakistan’s security forces, which are critical to countering violence in the western border regions.
Press Release, May 15, 2014; Image: US Navy