WASHINGTON: Chief of Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif and CIA chief John Brennan met on Monday and discussed security challenges facing the region and the way forward to confront these, said a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

Gen Raheel visited the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) headquarters in Langley, Virginia, where he held a meeting with the CIA chief.

During the meeting, the COAS specifically highlighted the need for permanent stability in the region, ISPR spokesman Director-General ISPR Lt-Gen Asim Bajwa said in a series of tweets.

The army chief stressed the need for a conducive environment in the region for re-initiating an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process, Bajwa tweeted.

The CIA chief discussed with Gen Raheel the opportunities presented for the future of an enduring regional peace and praised Pakistan's efforts for the Afghan reconciliation process, said Lt-Gen Bajwa.

Brennan acknowledged the accomplishments of Zarb-i-Azb and its positive impact on the security calculus, he said.

The COAS is in the United States on a five-day visit, in a trip analysts have said will underscore security issues facingIslamabad and Washington in the region as well as the dynamics relating to civilian-military ties within Pakistan.

The US Department of Defence said on Monday Washington was grateful that the COAS was visiting the US for consultations on bilateral issues.

The visit comes weeks after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met with US President Barack Obama at the Oval Office to discuss many of the same issues said to be on his army chief's agenda, including Afghan peace talks and Pakistan's nuclear ambitions.

The US Department of Defence said on Monday they were grateful that the Pakistan army chief was visiting the United States for consultations on bilateral issues.

 “We are grateful that COAS Raheel (Sharif) is taking time to hold consultations in person. The Secretary, the Deputy Secretary and the Chairman welcome the COAS and look forward to productive discussions related to our bilateral defence relationship,” a US defence official said.

At the Pentagon, the army chief will meet Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter, Chairman Joint Chief of Staff Gen Joseph Dunford and Centcom chief on Tuesday, the official added.

A State Department official confirmed that the COAS would meet Secretary of State John Kerry at the State Department later this week. Mr Kerry returns to Washington on Tuesday from a week-long visit to Turkey and Europe.

According to a report broadcast by the official Voice of America radio, Gen Sharif might also meet Vice President Joe Biden when he goes to the White House for a meeting with National Security Adviser Susan Rice.

Gen Sharif will also meet senior US lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

This confirms that the COAS will meet all key political, defence and security officials during his five-day stay in the UScapital.

Diplomatic sources said  that Pakistan’s ambassador in Washington, Jalil Abbas Jilani, would attend all key meetings.

“The participation of a civilian representative shows that civilian and military establishments are on the same page on all matters of national importance,” a senior diplomatic source said.

Ambassador Jilani, confirmed that he would be attending all key meetings at the State and Defence departments.