Islamabad: Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in his first phone call with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged “constructive and sustained engagement” between Pakistan and the United States.
US Secretary of State congratulated Pakistan’s new foreign minister on assuming office and reiterated the desire to strengthen the broad-based bilateral relationship. They discussed ongoing engagement on trade and investment, climate, energy, education and health. Blinken also underscored “the resolute US-Pakistan commitment to Afghan stability and combatting terrorism.”
Exchanging views on various aspects of bilateral relations, FM Bilawal said that Pakistan and the United States “have a longstanding broad-based relationship” and added that “constructive and sustained engagement between the two countries on the basis of mutual respect and mutual interest was vital to promote peace, development and security in the region and beyond.” Pakistani foreign minister emphasised that Pakistan’s vision was focused on human development, regional connectivity, and a peaceful neighbourhood.
Building on the cooperation to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, Secretary Blinken invited Pakistan to the Second Global COVID-19 Summit to be held virtually later this month and also in the ministerial meeting on Global Food Security to be held in New York on May 18, 2022.
The United States recently expressed the desire to continue working with Pakistan in areas of mutual interests including border security and counterterrorism. The two countries have remained at odds in recent years. Islamabad reprimands that the US administration continues to look at Pakistan through the lens of Afghanistan instead of broadening ties and also argues that the South Asian country is being scapegoated for US military failures in Afghanistan.