WASHINGTON, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday ordered the establishment of a strategic partnership office to handle relations with Afghanistan and Pakistan, as most American and NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) combat troops are set to exit Afghanistan by the end of this year.
Under the president's executive order, the Afghanistan and Pakistan Strategic Partnership Office is set up within the State Department with a view to supporting federal agencies in facilitating a "strategic partnership" between the United States and Afghanistan and Pakistan, promoting "further security and stabilization" in the two countries, and transitioning to a " normalized diplomatic presence" in both countries.
Washington wants Islamabad to help facilitate reconciliation between the Afghan government and Taliban in its efforts to stabilize Afghanistan following the troop withdrawal.
Under the presidential order, one mission of the partnership office is to coordinate the final drawdown of the State Department 's civilian filed operations and staff in Afghanistan.
The office will be based in Washington, Pakistan as well as Afghanistan.