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Moeed Yusuf concludes week-long US visit

Updated 06 Aug, 2021
NSA Moeed Yusuf said the focus of both sides is on outcomes, not optics. Photo file
NSA Moeed Yusuf said the focus of both sides is on outcomes, not optics. Photo file

National Security Adviser Moeed Yusuf said on Friday the relationship between Pakistan and the US was moving in right direction as he concluded a week-long visit to the United States.

In a message on Twitter, he wrote: “The focus of both sides [US and Pakistan] is on outcomes, not optics.”

Yusuf, along with Inter-Services Intelligence Director General Lt General Faiz Hameed, were on a visit to the US for talks with their American counterparts on bilateral issues like Afghanistan.

Earlier in July, NSA's Jake Sullivan and Yusuf met in Geneva which was the first in-person high level contact between the two countries since President Joe Biden assumed office in January.

Yusuf's recent visit was the continuation of the talks that began in Geneva.

During his stay in Washington, Yusuf met with senior officials of Biden administration, including Sullivan. He gave interviews to media and held briefings at the Pakistan embassy in the US.

Afghanistan's security situation was the main point of discussion between the two countries’ officials as a complete withdrawal of US troops from the war-torn country was due in a few weeks.

After meeting with his US counterpart, Yusuf said in a message on Twitter that they discussed “bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest.”

Talking about the same meeting, Sullivan posted on Twitter: “We discussed the urgent need for a reduction in violence in Afghanistan and a negotiated political settlement to the conflict.”

Meanwhile, the issue of Afghan refugees came under discussion during the visit as the Pakistan officials had earlier stated that the country was not in a position to host further influx of refugees due to terrorism threat and economic situation and that the settlement for displaced persons should be arranged inside Afghanistan.

However, the US wanted Pakistan, Turkey and their neighbouring countries to keep their borders open for Afghan refugees.

Reacting on the US decision, a Turkish official said it would cause a great migration crisis in the region and increase the suffering of Afghan people on migration routes.

Meanwhile, in an interview to The Financial Times, Yusuf complained about US President Joe Biden’s failure to contact Prime Minister Imran Khan over the Afghanistan issue.

“The president of the United States hasn’t spoken to the prime minister of such an important country who the US itself says is make-or-break in some cases, in some ways, in Afghanistan — we struggle to understand the signal, right?” Yusuf told the Financial Times.

“We’ve been told every time that . . . [the phone call] will happen, it’s technical reasons or whatever. But frankly, people don’t believe it,” he said.

While talking to the media on the conclusion of his visit, Yusuf denied the reports saying he didn’t complain about Biden not calling the premier, reported Geo.