U.S. Commander Franks Meets Musharraf
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) _ Gen. Tommy Franks, commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East and Central Asia, met Monday with the president of Pakistan to discuss the Iraq crisis, terrorism and other issues.
Franks, who would run any American attack on Iraq, arrived in Pakistan on Sunday at the head of an eight-member delegation for what the U.S. Embassy said were routine consultations.
Franks and President Gen. Pervez Musharraf discussed coordination between U.S. and Pakistani troops in Afghanistan, the government said statement.
Franks left Pakistan after the meeting but a U.S. Embassy spokesman, Terry White, declined to disclose his destination.
A local newspaper, The News, reported that Pakistan was hoping to get an answer during Franks’ visit to its request that Washington resume weapons sales.
The U.S. government suspended weapons sales to Pakistan in 1990 as punishment for its nuclear weapons program. Sanctions were strengthened in 1998 for following rival India in conducting nuclear tests.
Military relations have improved between the two countries since Pakistan abandoned support of the Taliban militia that ruled Afghanistan and harbored al-Qaida terrorists, and backed the U.S.-led war that ousted them.
Franks is head of the U.S. Central Command, based in Tampa, Fla. He left Florida on Tuesday for a tour of the Persian Gulf, where the United States is building up its troops for a possible military operation against Iraq. His travel details have been kept largely secret for security reasons.