Washington: Chief of Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif spent whole of Tuesday at the Pentagon by holding meetings with top US defence officials, with defence cooperation between the two countries dominating the discussion.

According to a series of tweets posted by Director-General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Lt-Gen Asim Bajwa, Gen Raheel on Tuesday met US Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter and Deputy Secretary of Defence Robert O. Work, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) Gen Joseph Dunford, Army Chief of Staff Gen Mark Milley and Centcom (Central Command) chief Gen Lloyd Austin.

During the meetings, Gen Raheel and American officials discussed defence cooperation between US and Pakistan, strengthening of military to military relations, regional security, need for enhanced defence coordination and increased training exchanges,  said Lt-Gen Bajwa. An increase in Tactical Reconnaissance Group (TRG) exchanges was also discussed.

Later in the day, CJCS Gen Dunford hosted a special banquet at Fort Myer military base in honour of Gen Raheel . The banquet was attended by top officials including Gen Austin and Gen Miley, said the ISPR spokesman.

Earlier, Gen Raheel discussed bilateral defence relations and regional security in his meeting with Defence Secretary Ashton Carter.

The US defence secretary appreciated Pakistan’s contribution and sacrifices in fighting the war on terror and acknowledged the effects of successful counter-terrorism operations, the ISPR spokesman had said at the time.