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Blinken, Bilawal discuss bilateral ties and regional issues

Secretary Blinken emphasized the importance of a productive US-Pakistan partnership.

Islamabad, 25 July, 2023 (GNP): In a significant development for US-Pakistan relations, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari engaged in a productive phone conversation on Monday, according to the sources.

The two leaders addressed crucial matters concerning Pakistan’s economy and Afghanistan-related issues, reaffirming their commitment to a strong and cooperative partnership.

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During the call, Secretary Blinken emphasized the importance of a productive US-Pakistan partnership and acknowledged the challenges Pakistan faces due to cross-border terrorism.

He extended condolences for the losses the Pakistani people have suffered in terrorist attacks and assured continued cooperation with Pakistan on counterterrorism efforts.

The leaders also discussed the destabilizing effects of Russia’s war against Ukraine, underscoring their shared interest in maintaining peace and stability in Afghanistan.

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The call took place shortly after a meeting between US Central Command (Centcom) Chief, General Michael Erik Kurilla, and Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Asim Munir in Rawalpindi. The regional security situation and defense cooperation were the key topics discussed during the meeting, the sources said.

Both nations urged war-torn Afghanistan to prevent its soil from becoming a safe haven for terrorists, echoing the necessity of ensuring the eradication of terrorist threats.

Secretary Blinken reiterated the United States’ unwavering commitment to the people of Pakistan, emphasizing the importance of Pakistan’s economic success. The US pledged to support Pakistan through technical and development initiatives, while also fostering robust trade and investment ties.

He also welcomed the recent approval of a $3 billion bailout by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for Pakistan, as it helped the nation avert potential debt defaults. Secretary Blinken encouraged continued economic reforms to promote Pakistan’s recovery and prosperity.