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Monday July 22, 2024

Pakistan, US vow to boost trade, security cooperation

In the absence of Foreign Secretary Syrus Qazi, John Bass met with Acting Foreign Secretary Ambassador Rahim Hayat for the delegation level talks

By Mariana Baabar
May 01, 2024
Acting Under Secretary for Political Affairs John Bass (left) shakes hand with Acting Foreign Secretary Ambassador Rahim Hayat Qureshi at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad on April 30, 2024. — X/@ForeignOfficePk
Acting Under Secretary for Political Affairs John Bass (left) shakes hand with Acting Foreign Secretary Ambassador Rahim Hayat Qureshi at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad on April 30, 2024. — X/@ForeignOfficePk

ISLAMABAD/WASHINGTON: Pakistan and the United States on Tuesday reaffirmed their commitment to enhance cooperation in the areas of trade, investment and regional security at the first high-level meeting between the two sides after the formation of Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s government.

“There was productive discussion on all aspects of bilateral relations,” said the Foreign Office, after a US State Department delegation, led by Acting Under Secretary for Political Affairs John Bass, visited the Foreign Office after arriving from Qatar.

In the absence of Foreign Secretary Syrus Qazi, John Bass met with Acting Foreign Secretary Ambassador Rahim Hayat for the delegation level talks.

John Bass was also accompanied by Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Elizabeth Horst and US Ambassador Donald Blome. The US State Department earlier, while announcing John Bass’s visit, had said that he would meet with senior Pakistani government officials to discuss a range of regional and bilateral issues as part of the US-Pakistan partnership.

However, the Foreign Office did not give further details of the delegation-level talks. Before leaving Washington, John Bass had tweeted, “I am heading to Doha and Islamabad to meet with Qatari and Pakistani officials to discuss bilateral ties and our shared regional security interests.” John Bass arrived in Islamabad after the recent high-profile visit of the Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi during which the US Department of State cautioned the Pakistani government of engaging in business deals with Iran. “We advise anyone considering business deals with Iran to be aware of the potential risk of sanctions,” it said.

Meanwhile, US State Department Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel has said that the United States and Pakistan have a shared interest in combating threats to regional security.

Answering a question during briefing on Tuesday, he said the US supports Pakistan’s efforts to combat terrorism and ensure the safety and security of its citizens in a manner that promotes the rule of law and protection of human rights.

Patel said: “Our partnership with Pakistan on security issues includes of course a high-level counterterrorism dialogue, funding a robust counterterrorism capacity and building programmes and supporting a series of US and Pakistan military to military engagement.”