WASHINGTON - US Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken has appreciated Pakistan's role in facilitating reconciliatory talks between Afghanistan and Taliban.

During a meeting with a senior aide of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Tariq Fatemi, Blinken maintained that the US would play its due role in maintaining peace in Afghanistan.

Amid growing Pakistan-India tensions, Tariq Fatemi briefed the high-ranking US State Department official on Pakistan's efforts to maintain good relations with the neighbouring countries. Tariq Fatemi, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, is in Washington on visit during which he will hold a series of meetings with a number of Obama administration officials and American lawmakers. He will hold a press conference on July 28 before his departure for Pakistan.

On Monday, he met the Deputy Secretary of State Toney Blinken at the Department of State. Pakistan's Ambassador to the US Jalil Abbas Jilani accompanied him, whereas Dan Feldman, US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, assisted Blinken.

"The Special Assistant briefed the Deputy Secretary of State on the Prime Minister’s consistent policy of outreach to Pakistan’s neighbours and his commitment to maintaining cordial relations with all its neighbours, including Afghanistan and India," a Pakistan Embassy press release said.

It said the special assistant and the Deputy Secretary expressed satisfaction over the growing momentum and positive trajectory of the relations between Pakistan and the US. In this regard, they acknowledged that high level interactions between the leadership of the two countries have contributed significantly in strengthening bilateral cooperation on economy, regional stability, and countering extremism and terrorism.

The special assistant apprised the Deputy Secretary of State of the steps taken by the Government of Pakistan over the last two years to implement its economic agenda, while highlighting the progress made in achieving economic stability and investor confidence.

Tariq Fatemi, according to the press release, also briefed the deputy secretary of state about the ongoing law enforcement operations in FATA aimed at securing Pakistani soil from all militants. He thanked the US for its continued support to Pakistan for its political and economic stability and its efforts to bring regional peace and harmony.

Deputy Secretary Blinken appreciated Pakistan’s stabilising role in the region, the press release said, adding that he also lauded the Prime Minister’s efforts to reach out to Pakistan’s neighbours and hoped that his initiatives would help bring peace and prosperity to the region. Blinken assured the special assistant of continued US engagement with the region, the press release said. "He also reiterated US support to Prime Minister’s economic development plans with special focus on energy and countering extremism and militancy," it said.

"Pakistan’s role in facilitating the reconciliation process between Afghan government and the Taliban was also lauded by the US side," the embassy press release said.