WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appreciated Pakistan’s support for political reconciliation in Afghanistan and for peace in the neighborhood during a meeting with Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi here on Tuesday.
The two leaders held wide-ranging talks on bilateral and regional issues of mutual during the meeting that was held at the US State Department. The Foreign Minister was assisted by Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua and Ambassador of Pakistan to the United States, Ali Jehangir Siddiqui.
The Foreign Minister, who is paying an official visit to Washington at Secretary Pompeo’s invitation, said that close engagement between Pakistan and the United States had always been mutually beneficial and a factor for stability in South Asia.
He stressed that, going forward, a broad-based and structured framework for dialogue would best serve the two countries’ shared interests.
Foreign Minister Qureshi highlighted the development-focused and people-centric agenda of the government, which was contingent on peace and security in Pakistan’s neighborhood.
The Foreign Minister noted that Pakistan and the United States shared a common desire for peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region at large.
He reiterated Pakistan’s support for a political settlement in Afghanistan, noting that the use of force had failed to deliver results.
Both sides agreed that the time was ripe for the Afghan Taliban to avail the opportunity for a political settlement by seizing the opportunity for dialogue.
The Foreign Minister stressed that peace in South Asia, which was a common goal of both the United States and Pakistan, would remain elusive until all disputes, including the core dispute of Jammu and Kashmir, are resolved.
Welcoming the Foreign Minister to the State Department, Secretary Pompeo said the United States looked forward to working with the new government of Pakistan in implementing its reform agenda.
The two leaders agreed to remain engaged with a view to achieving their shared bilateral and regional objectives.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Qureshi also met US Senators Cory Booker and Lindsey Graham and exchanged views on the bilateral relations and the regional situation in South Asia.
According to Foreign Office spokesman Dr. Mohammad Faisal said that Senator Booker, who is the member of the Senate’s Foreign Relations committee, told the Minister that Pakistan’s sacrifices in the war against terrorism needed to be recognized.
The Minister also met Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Senator Jim Risch, Senator Lindsey Graham, Senator Cory Booker , and Senator Jack Reed of the Senate Armed Services Committee and discussed US-Pakistan bilateral relations.