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August 16, 2018

US sees Pakistan’s leading role in regional peace


August 16, 2018

WASHINGTON: Trump administration's top official has said that the United States "continues to look to Pakistan to take a leading role in bringing peace to the region."

Addressing a ceremony hosted by the Pakistani embassy here on Tuesday evening to mark the country's independence, Ambassador Alice Wells, principal deputy assistant secretary, recognized the significant sacrifices of the Pakistani nation and people in their struggle against domestic terrorism. "All of the countries of South Asia deserve to live in peace," she remarked.

In an effort to bridge the gap that has prevailed over the last few months, the official stated: "we hope that momentum towards peace is building, and it is now up to all of us to seize this opportunity and achieve this elusive prize."

She underscored that the path towards peace was long and fruaght with challenges but at the same time quoted the founder of Pakistan, Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah that 'with faith, discipline and selfless devotion to duty, there is nothing worthwhile that you cannot achieve.'

"The success of the region and indeed, Pakistan’s success, is deeply important to the United States," Wells said adding that the people of Pakistan and the United States share fundamental desires for stability and prosperity, which offer our countries ample opportunities to work together for our mutual benefit. In her address, Ambassador Wells also recognized PTI chairman Imran Khan's statements and his first meeting with U.S. Embassy officials. "The issues are tough, no doubt, but together, I know we can translate these shared interests into further action that achieves our mutual objectives," she stressed adding that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has declared that the two countries will continue to look for opportunities to advance shared goals of security, stability, and prosperity in South Asia.

She highlighted the very nature of these shared interests of the two countries that include "fighting the horrors of terrorism that destroy lives and undermine regional security; forging economic and people-to-people ties across the region; and building a more peaceful, stable, and prosperous South Asia."

"In this regard, a negotiated political settlement to the 17-year long conflict in Afghanistan is a critical shared goal, and an area where we all would hope to see progress in the coming months," she said.

Wells maintained that to further these shared objectives, the United States relies on its relationships with the Government, businesses, and people of Pakistan. She also appreciated ambassador Ali Jahangir Siddiqi's efforts to advance the full range of bilateral relations.

She mentioned that President Trump had called Pakistan a valued partner. "Our militaries have worked together against common enemies and our countries have much to gain through this partnership.

Though we face challenges, we have never faltered in this belief," she said.

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