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Russian military makes rare visit to Pakistani tribal region

Pakistan officials say a Russian military delegation has made a rare visit to the North Waziristan tribal region near Afghanistan, which until recently served as a militant headquarters.

In a statement, Pakistan’s military said the Russian delegation praised Pakistan’s achievements in fighting terrorism.

Thursday’s visit comes months after Russian servicemen held a joint military exercise in Pakistan.

Russia has been a long-time ally of Pakistan’s rival India, while Pakistan has traditionally been in the U.S. sphere of influence. However, Islamabad has taken steps to move closer to Russia and Moscow recently invited Pakistan and China to discuss Afghanistan.

Another round of talks is scheduled for April 14 in Moscow, which will be attended by Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Iran, China and the Central Asian states. The US has declined the invitation.

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