ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Pakistan and United States signed an agreement Saturday to enhance defense cooperation, the government announced here.
The agreement was signed as President Pervez Musharraf was traveling to the United States for a meeting next week with President Bush and other American officials.
Under the agreement, the United States will be able to use Pakistani facilities for joint exercises, training, deployments and other military operations.
The United States would receive food, water, transport facilities, fuel, communications and medical services in support of U.S. military operations in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
The agreement, which provides for reciprocal support in various fields, marks a major step in enhancing military contacts between the two countries. After Pakistan tested nuclear devices in 1998, the United States imposed a variety of sanctions on Pakistan.
Most have been lifted after Pakistan ended its support of the former Taliban regime in Afghanistan and joined the U.S.-led coalition against terrorism.
The agreement was signed by U.S. Maj. Gen., Dennis Jackson, director of logistics for the U.S. Army, and Real Admiral Irfan Ahmad of the Pakistani Ministry of Defense.
Military cooperation is among the topics Musharraf is expected to discuss in Washington. He took power in a 1999 military coup and remains commanding general of the Pakistani armed forces.
The Pakistanis hope to expand cooperation in such areas as military sales and training.