KIEV, March 7 (Xinhua) -- Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and visiting U.S. Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale met here on Thursday to discuss bilateral ties, Ukraine's presidential press service said.
At the talks, Poroshenko praised the strengthening of the Ukrainian-American strategic partnership over the past four years, especially in such areas as security and defense, and trade and economic ties.
The Ukrainian leader stressed the importance of the U.S. role in Ukraine's reform process and in boosting the defense capabilities of the East European country.
For his part, Hale noted that Ukraine has achieved a "significant progress" in recent years and pledged that the United States would continue its support for Kiev.
The parties also discussed joint steps to de-escalate tensions in the Kerch Strait and the forthcoming presidential and parliamentary elections in Ukraine.
Hale arrived in Kiev on Tuesday for a three-day visit to meet with senior Ukrainian officials and political leaders to discuss this year's elections, combatting corruption, and human rights issues.