Pence, Tillerson phone PM Abbasi, thank Pakistan for safe recovery of hostages


ISLAMABAD: US Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday telephoned Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and thanked the government of Pakistan and praised the professionalism of the army and intelligence agencies for the swift response and safe recovery of the US national Caitlin Coleman, her husband Joshua Boyle and their three children.

VP Pence reaffirmed the importance of bilateral relations, saying the US would like to further build this relationship for peace and prosperity of the region.

Re-affirming Pakistan’s resolve to eliminate terrorism from its soil, the prime minister assured the US vice president that Pakistan would respond to any actionable intelligence shared by the US.

The two leaders agreed to maintain high-level engagements to strengthen cooperation in areas of mutual interest.

Pence also accepted the invitation of PM Abbasi to visit Pakistan in the near future.

Earlier, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also called to convey US government’s gratitude for the safe recovery of the hostages.

Last week, Pakistan’s security forces, with the support of US intelligence, freed an American woman, her Canadian husband and their three children from terrorists’ captivity.

The foreigners were recovered from Nawe Kali, a remote area about 15 kilometres southwest of Kohat town, following a joint operation by security forces and intelligence agencies, officials had said.