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The Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM), Syed Tariq Fatemi met with the Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the State Department this afternoon. Ambassador Jalil Abbas Jilani accompanied the SAPM.

Conveying the message of goodwill from the Prime Minister and the people of Pakistan on the recently held elections in the US, the SAPM expressed hope that after the completion of ongoing transition process, the two sides would resume their regular engagement on the bilateral track.

In a candid review of the relationship during the meeting, the two sides expressed satisfaction on several achievements in areas of peace and security, counter terrorism, defense and economic cooperation. It was agreed that Pakistan-US relationship was important to regional as well as global peace and security and should continue to be strengthened under the next Administration.

The Deputy Secretary appreciated Pakistan’s efforts to promote peace and stability in the region. Pakistan’s participation in the Heart of Asia Conference held in Amritsar on 4 December and its earlier pledge at the Brussels Conference to provide $500 million for development projects in Afghanistan were seen as concrete and positive steps reflecting Pakistan’s commitment to peace and prosperity of its western neighbour.The Deputy Secretary of State admired the generosity of Pakistan in hosting millions of Afghan refugees for over four decades and expressed appreciation on the recent decision to extend the deadline for the repatriation of these refugees.

The regional situation including the escalation across the Line of Control and the Working Boundary were also discussed during the meeting. The SAPM briefed the Deputy Secretary on the frequency of ceasefire violations by India in recent weeks with particular reference to targeting of civilians across the LoC. He also pointed out that the massive and systematic human rights violations in the Occupied Kashmir were resulting in hundreds of casualties and debilitating injuries to the civilians including women and children. While expressing concern on the increasing escalation at the LoC, Deputy Secretary Blinken reiterated the US position on the need for reducing tension in South Asia and promoting closer cooperation and dialogue between the two largest countries of the region.

The Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs is in Washington on the first high level visit from Pakistan after the November elections in the United States.


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