WASHINGTON - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif flew into this capital city on Sunday afternoon to begin a four-day official visit during which he will have talks with President Barack Obama and other administration officials. Sharif was due to meet Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday evening amid improving relations between Pakistan after lurching from crisis to crisis in 2011 and 2012.

On arrival at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington in a special plane, the prime minister was greeted by US officials, including US Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson, US Civilian Aid Coordinator Ambassador Robin Raphel, Director Pakistan Affairs at the State Department Jonathan Ward. Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani, who has been named as the next Pakistan ambassador to the US, was also present. A joint colour band, drawn from US Air Force, Navy, Army Marine Corps and Coastguards presented honour guard to the prime minister at the airbase, as Pakistani and American flags fluttered in the breeze.  Prime Minister Sharif will have a one-on-one session with President Obama after full delegations of the two countries have had in-depth discussions on Wednesday. A joint statement on the US-Pakistan talks is expected to be issued.