Inaugural session of military Staff Talks was held between Pakistan and Lebanon in Beirut on 10 October 2018. Pakistan side was headed by Lieutenant General Malik Zafar Iqbal, Director General, Joint Staff Headquarters, while the Lebanese side was led by Brig. General Joseph Sarkis, Deputy Chief of Staff (Planning). Pakistan delegation congratulated Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) on the successful conduct of Operation Fajr al Jaroud to evict terrorist groups from Lebanon’s north-eastern town of Arsal. It apprised the Lebanese side of the counter-terrorism actions carried out by Pakistani defence forces and law enforcement agencies as well as the unparalleled sacrifices rendered by the country in this fight. As both the countries are victims of terrorism, the two delegations agreed to benefit from each other’s experiences in this respect.

The two sides discussed various dimensions of the ongoing cooperation and deliberated upon ways and means to expand and deepen bilateral ties. Lebanese side thanked Pakistan for extending generous training facilities to LAF personnel. Acknowledging the similarity of challenges to the two countries emanating from their respective geostrategic locations and regional dynamics, the sides agreed to institutionalise bilateral Staff Talks and military exchanges. They agreed to hold the next session of the Staff Talks in Islamabad.

Earlier Pakistan delegation was received by the LAF Commander, General Joseph Aoun. The Leader of the Pakistan delegation extended an invitation to General Aoun for attending the IDEAS-2018 being held in Karachi on 27-30 November 2018. The delegation also visited Lebanese Air and Naval Headquarters and received extensive briefings. They also visited Lebanese military training and research institutions and held useful discussions on cooperation for mutual benefit.

Beirut
15 October 2018

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