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U.S., Pakistani military officials meet

U.S., Pakistani military officials meet
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Ad. Mike Mullen is all smiles at the conclusion of an event at which U.S. President Barack Obama unveiled a new initiative for military families, in the East Room of the White House, January 24, 2011 in Washington,D.C. Obama called for an effort to better coordinate and strengthen the Federal government's support for troops in the areas of education, housing, health care and quality of life issues. UPI/Mike Theiler | License Photo

MUSCAT, Oman, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- U.S. Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says a meeting with Pakistan's top military leaders in Oman was productive.

Mullen met in Muscat, Oman, Wednesday with Pakistani military officials to discuss the war in Afghanistan and the U.S. relationship with Pakistan, the military newspaper Stars and Stripes reported.

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Also attending the meeting were Gen. David Petraeus, commander of International Security Assistance Force, Adm. Eric Olson, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command and Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis, commander of U.S. Central Command. They met with Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Pakistan's chief of army staff, and Maj. Gen. Javed Iqbal, director-general of military operations.

"I was very grateful for General Kayani's time and the opportunity to continue the dialogue and the relationship at this very critical time in the effort," Mullen said.

It was the third time high-level U.S. and Pakistani officials have met to discuss the war since August 2008. Both sides said better communications are needed, but few details of the otherwise secret meeting were disclosed.

"I was pleased to have the opportunity to discuss with American officers the progress we have made fighting extremists in our country and to offer them my thoughts about how our two sides might better cooperate," Kayani said in a statement Wednesday.

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Mullen told Congress last week "the vector is going in the wrong direction overall for the country. We are very unpopular there … I am as concerned as I have ever been."

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