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Blinken invites Bilawal to US in first phone call

Updated 07 May, 2022
<p>A combination of file photos of Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari (L) and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (R). Agencies</p>

A combination of file photos of Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari (L) and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (R). Agencies

In a first phone call with Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken invited the former to the ministerial meeting on the global food security which is scheduled to be held in New York on May 18, 2022.

“During the phone call, Secretary Blinken congratulated Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on assumption of his Office and expressed the desire to continue strengthening mutually beneficial Pakistan-US bilateral relationship,” read a statement issued by the Foreign Office on Friday.

Exchanging views on various aspects of Pakistan-US relations, the FM underscored that Pakistan and the United States have a longstanding broad-based relationship. He added: “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.”

Bilawal emphasised that Pakistan’s vision was focused on human development, regional connectivity, and a peaceful neighborhood.

Building on the Pakistan-US cooperation in dealing with the Covid pandemic during the last two years, Secretary Blinken also invited Pakistan to the second Global Covid Summit to be held virtually later this month.

The FM and the secretary of state agreed to remain in contact and enhance engagement on regional and global issues of mutual interest.

Blinken also shared the development in a tweet.

“We’re committed to strengthening our relationship and our cooperation on Afghan stability, combating terrorism, and expanding commerce,” it read.

US State Department spokesperson Ned Price also issued a statement in this regard.

“Secretary of State Antony Blinken underscored the resolute US-Pakistan commitment to Afghan stability and combatting terrorism. The secretary and FM also highlighted ongoing engagement on trade and investment, climate, energy, health, and education,” it read.

Reacting to the development, US scholar of South Asian affairs, Michael Kugelman, ruled out the misconception that the Biden administration did not engage with the PTI government.

“There is a misconception that the Biden administration didn’t engage with Imran Khan’s government. It did, and on a variety of levels. It just didn’t engage with Khan himself,” he said in a tweet.