WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama’s national security adviser, Ambassador Susan Rice, has welcomed Pakistan’s “positive approach towards its neighbours, saying it would lead to peace and stability in the region.

Ambassador Rice made these remarks in a meeting with Tariq Fatemi, Special Assistant to Pakistan Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, at the White House on Tuesday, according to a statement issued by the Pakistan Embassy.

Fatemi also met Senator John McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, who is amongst the most senior Republican leaders on the Hill. McCain is also member of the Foreign Relations Committee.

The special assistant is currently on a visit to Washington during which he is meeting administration officials and American lawmakers.

Ambassador Rice, in her meeting with Fatemi, appreciated Pakistan’s “positive approach and outreach” to its neighbours as part of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s vision of a peaceful neighbourhood, the Pakistan Embassy said.

This, Dr Rice said, would go a long way in achieving enduring peace and stability in the region, it said.

Accompanied by the Pakistan Ambassador to the US, Jalil Abbas Jilani, Fatemi discussed with Ambassador Rice the evolving regional scenario and how the two countries could cooperate to achieve their shared goals.

Acknowledging Pakistan’s “immense sacrifices” in war against terrorism, Rice expressed US’ unremitting support for accelerated regional economic development through enhanced cooperation between the countries of South Asia, the statement said.

According to the statement, Fatemi briefed Rice on the important advances made by Pakistan in improving the state of its economy, internal security and various steps taken by the government for socioeconomic development in the country. The special assistant and Rice reviewed the current state of Pak-US bilateral relations and expressed their full satisfaction at the positive trajectory of the relationship. At the meeting, Rice also reaffirmed the shared US-Pak desire for continued close coordination to realise peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.

While recognising the significance of continued high-level engagements between the two countries, both sides agreed to work closely to sustain and further build the momentum in high level exchanges to further solidify mutual trust and confidence between the two countries.

Fatemi and Rice expressed their confidence that Pak-US strategic partnership would further strengthen and deepen in the future.

At his meeting with Senator McCain, the special assistant informed him about the overall security situation in the region and significant gains made by Pakistani forces following the successful military operations in North Waziristan which were aimed at eliminating all terrorists from the Pakistani soil without any discrimination, according to the Pakistan Embassy. Regional situation including Pakistan’s relations with Afghanistan and the reconciliation process were also discussed.

Senator McCain also noted the Pakistani sacrifices and efforts in the war against terrorism and expressed the desire to work with the Government of Pakistan to realise the common objective of defeating terrorism. He reiterated the US commitment to remain engaged in the region to bring lasting peace and stability.

Senator McCain also expressed concerns about the rapid expansion of Islamic State and stressed the need for collaborative efforts to meet this global challenge.