Pakistan might get P3C Orion aircraft this year: Sherry
28 January, 2013
WASHINGTON: Pakistan is expected to receive maritime surveillance P3C Orion aircraft from the United States this year in an indication of strengthening defence cooperation between the two countries.
Ambassador to the US Sherry Rehman, who has been meeting with top American officials as part of efforts to restore the full range of bilateral ties, said both the civil and defence cooperation between the two sides was gaining momentum.
At a meeting with visiting Vice Chief of the Naval Staff Vice Admiral Muhammad Shafique, Sherry Rehman discussed matters related to the ongoing cooperation between the Pakistani and American navies and expressed satisfaction over senior-level exchanges, such as the visit of Vice Admiral Shafique.
She said that such interactions were important to push forward the Pak-US bilateral defence ties. She said that the Pakistan Navy's key role in securing sea-lanes in North Arabian Sea as part of the anti-piracy international coalition had been widely appreciated in the United States. As a result of some hectic diplomacy, Washington and Islamabad have come out of a difficult phase in bilateral ties since early 2011, following a series of high-level meetings and trust-building measures.
In Washington, Sherry Rehman and her team of diplomats have been working with senior State Department, Pentagon and National Security officials to put the cooperative ties back on track. The US recently released long-delayed CSF reimbursements and both countries have resumed working on different levels of cooperation through regular forums of institutionalised dialogues and working groups.
The vice admiral briefed the ambassador on the contributions made by the Pakistan Navy towards multilateral efforts for strengthening maritime security and counter piracy operations.
He also thanked Ambassador Sherry Rehman for her leadership in reinvigorating Pak-US defence partnership.
The vice admiral appreciated the ambassador's efforts towards resetting Pakistan-US relations after the impasse in 2011-12 and for diligently pursuing all of Pakistan's concerns, including the navy's interests. He hoped for the early departure of P3C maritime aircraft from the United States.