World Bulletin/News Desk
U.S. and Pakistani spy chiefs exchanged grievances in their first official meeting this week, sources familiar with the discussions said on Friday, but it was unclear if the two uneasy allies made any progress to end deep divisions on fighters living in Pakistani tribal areas or on U.S. drone strikes.
Lieutenant-General Zaheer ul-Islam, who was named to head the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in March, on his first official visit to Washington met on Thursday with CIA Director David Petraeus at CIA headquarters.
Ahead of his visit, Pakistani officials said the country's spy chief would call for an end to U.S. military drone strikes in volatile areas bordering Afghanistan and push for a sharing of technology and intelligence.
The public preview of Pakistani demands of Petraeus appeared to have displeased U.S. officials, who pushed back at the notion they might cede to Pakistani requests.
The United States and Pakistan are seeking to repair relations that have suffered over the past 20 months, in part because of the unilateral U.S. raid that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan last May and a U.S. air attack that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November.
The two countries reached a breakthrough last month with a deal that reopened ground supply routes that NATO nations use to supply troops in neighboring Afghanistan, which had been closed since the November air attack along the Afghan border.
While sources familiar with the discussions said the two spy chiefs aired mutual grievances, they did not appear to have made big strides on the main issues.
Pakistan's parliament has demanded an end to the drone strikes, but the sources in Washington indicated that U.S. officials did not yield to those demands.
"The discussions today between General Zahir and Director Petraeus were substantive, professional, and productive," a U.S. official said on condition of anonymity.
"Both leaders reaffirmed their commitment to work together to counter the terrorist presence in the region that threatens both U.S. and Pakistani national security."
Ahead of Thursday's meeting, U.S. officials signaled there would be little, if any, change in U.S. counter-terrorism activity in Pakistan and the region.
The Obama administration is pressuring Pakistan to take action in particular against the Haqqani network.
Pakistan responds that it is doing all it can against fighters, but notes that attack its own civilians and soldiers.
Police say both suspects, who resided in Spanish cities of Valladolid and Murcia, were radicalized online
24 journalists stage strike to coincide with Palestinian Journalists Day
Over 99 percent of voters back Jan. 9 as Republika Srpska 'Statehood Day', fuelling fears of independence push from Bosnia
Council official calls for holding ‘consultations’ with view to appointing new heads of top state institutions
A measure making it more difficult for foreign workers to be employed won 58 percent of the vote in a referendum on Sunday in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino, which borders Italy.
"Previous statements delivered by his adviser on Israel show a total abandonment of the two-state solution, international law and UN resolutions."
In northern Iraq, meanwhile, army braces for decisive push on ISIL-held city of Mosul
Government troops intensify operations to clear Boko Haram from northeastern Borno state
Congolese security forces battle unidentified militant group in Kasai-Central province
Hollande's visit comes just days after one by his conservative predecessor Sarkozy -- who is hoping to make a comeback as president, with a harsh line on migration a key part of his campaign.
Critics of the referendum have said that it is stoking ethnic tension and is bolstering separatist sentiment within the Bosnian Serb ministate
Hundreds of people in central Mudug region call on Indian government to release 119 Somalis accused of being pirates
Authorities in Azerbaijan are holding a referendum on September 26 over changes to the country's constitution
Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday.
"What Russia is sponsoring and doing is not counter-terrorism, it is barbarism," U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, told the 15-member council.
Bosnian Serbs have voted to maintain a Statehood Day holiday on January 9 in a controversial referendum held in defiance of a high-court ruling from Sarajevo.