Pakistan, US agree to stay engaged as PM Abbasi meets Mike Pence

Pakistan and the United States have agreed to stay engaged with a constructive approach to achieve shared objectives of peace, stability and economic prosperity in the region.

The consensus was reached during a meeting between Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and US Vice President Mike Pence on the sidelines of UN General Assembly session in New York on Wednesday. Both sides discussed issues relating to bilateral relationships as well as the peace and stability in Afghanistan and the entire region. PM Abbasi shared Pakistan’s concerns and views with regard to the US strategy for South Asia.

“It was a good meeting,”  Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua told reporters after 45-minute long meeting between PM Abbasi and Pence that United States had requested, APP reported.

PM Abbasi arrives in New York for UNGA

Responding to questions, she termed the progress made at the  meeting as an ‘ice-breaker’. She said it was agreed that the United States would send a delegation to Pakistan in October to continue the talks, a move that analysts saw as a positive development.

It was the first high-level contact between the two countries, after the announcement of the new US strategy by President Donald Trump on Afghanistan and South Asia, that carried a series of unfounded charges against Pakistan for not doing enough in its fight against terrorism.

Earlier in their opening remarks, the US vice president greeted PM Abbasi on behalf of President Donald Trump. He recalled the new strategy articulated by Trump on South Asia and said the United States valued its relationship with Pakistan, a long term partnership for for security in the region.

Responding to another question, the Foreign Secretary said that the prime minister expressed concern over the greater role that the new policy advocated for India. She said the premier elaborated the points raised by the National Security Committee in which Pakistan categorically rejected allegations contained in President Trump’s speech, saying “scapegoating Pakistan will not help bring stability to Afghanistan”.

The two countries agreed to work together to carry forward the relationship which has been a historic partnership for the last seven decades. It was agreed that the two countries would stay engaged with a constructive approach to achieve shared objectives of peace, stability and economic prosperity in the region.

Prime Minister Abbasi was assisted by Minister for Foreign Affairs Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Foreign Secretary Ms Tehmina Janjua and Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States Aizaz Chaudhry and Pakistan’s ambassador to the United Nations, Maleeha Lodhi. During the meeting, each side openly stated their concerns vis-a-vis the situation in the region.

Welcoming the Pakistani Prime Minister Vice President Pence said, “We look forward to exploring ways so that we can work even more closely with Pakistan and with your government to advance security throughout the region.” Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in response thanked the US Vice President for his invitation and said he too looked forward to discussing issues of mutual interest, especially the war against terrorism. He said “Pakistan has been a long-standing partner and we intend to continue efforts to eliminate terrorism in the area.”

“We have made our contributions, we fought a very difficult war, we suffered casualties and have suffered economic losses and that is the message that we bring to the world,” he said. “We are partners in the war against terrorism.” Pakistan had urged the United States to “understand and recognize its efforts, contributions and sacrifices of thousands of Pakistanis and over 120 billion US dollars of economic losses.

Iranian president reaffirms commitment to boost trade with Pakistan in meeting with PM Abbasi

PM Abbasi also met President of Iran Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of the UNGA session. In the bilateral meeting between the two today, the Iranian president and PM Abbasi discussed strengthening of relations between the two countries and the issues of regional peace and security.

The prime minister stated that Pakistan is pursuing a policy of peaceful neighbourhood, and is committed to strengthening relations with Iran which are rooted in common history, shared culture, and people to people ties. He also reiterated that the increased high-level engagements between the two countries would contribute to the deepening of mutually beneficial cooperation in multiple fields.

Iranian President Rouhani with PM Abbasi PHOTO: RADIOPAK

Iranian President Rouhani with PM Abbasi

PM Abbasi emphasised on the need of maintaining this positive trajectory in bilateral relations for promoting trade and economic cooperation. In response, President Rouhani reaffirmed Iran’s firm commitment to the strengthening of ties with Pakistan, also emphasised that the two countries should work closely in deepening mutual cooperation in the areas of border management, trade and investment.

PM Abbasi heads to New York to represent Pakistan at UN

The prime minister thanked the Iranian president for Iran’s consistent support for the legitimate struggle of the people of Indian-occupied Kashmir and their right to self-determination. The two leaders also discussed and exchanged views about efforts for peace and stability in Afghanistan. Both agreed that the military is not the solution to the Afghan conflict, and that a politically negotiated settlement was vital for achieving long-lasting peace in Afghanistan.

Highlighting that Afghanistan’s neighbouring countries were severely affected by the growing instability in Afghanistan, they also emphasised the need for adopting a regional approach for bringing an end to the Afghan conflict. The prime minister and the Iranian President expressed deep concern over the atrocities being committed against Rohingya Muslims and urged the international community to take urgent measures to alleviate the suffering of these people.

PM Abbasi meets Turkish president

PM Abbasi also met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the session.

The two leaders placed special emphasis on enhancing economic cooperation and working together for early finalization of the Free Trade Agreement boosting the bilateral trade, and that the two countries should continue to work together.

The PM said linkages between people of the two countries had transformed into a strategic partnership that is strengthening with each passing day. He thanked the Turkish President for Turkey’s unflinching support to the struggle of the people of Indian-occupied Kashmir.

Meeting with Pence: Abbasi to convey Pakistan’s concerns over Afghan policy

President Erdogan reaffirmed Turkey’s commitment for continued endeavors for strengthening of the mutually beneficial strategic partnership.

They agreed that there was no military solution of the Afghan conflict and efforts should continue for a regional approach for an internal political settlement in Afghanistan through an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process.

PM Abbasi with Turkish President Erdogan PHOTO: RADIOPAK

PM Abbasi with Turkish President Erdogan

Both the leaders agreed on the revival of the Pakistan-Afghanistan-Turkey Trilateral process for promoting lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan.

The post Pakistan, US agree to stay engaged as PM Abbasi meets Mike Pence appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Pakistan, US agree to stay engaged as PM Abbasi meets Mike Pence

source by tribune dot dot pk

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Pakistan, US agree to stay engaged as PM Abbasi meets Mike Pence

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