A Foreign Office official in Islamabad said that the two top diplomats also discussed regional situation with special reference to security affairs in neighboring Afghanistan ahead of next year's planned drawdown of Western troops. "The focus of the meeting was finalization of agenda for the visit of our Prime Minister next week to America, but the regional issues were also discussed," the official said.

The proposed visit by the Prime Minister later in October 2013 was announced during Sharif's September trip to New York to attend the UN General Assembly. He met top administration official and it was decided that a full fledged visit was needed to discuss a host of issues between the two countries.

Sharif could not meet President Barack Obama as the White House was not happy with Pakistan dally-dallying about appointment of ambassador to the US. The post was vacant since Ambassador Sherry Rehman relinquished it following defeat of her Pakistan Peoples' Party in May polls.

The hurdle has been removed with Pakistan's decision to send foreign secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani, an experienced hand, to take up the critical job.


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