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Pak, US undertake early review of state of bilateral ties

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Islamabad : Pakistan and the US today undertook an early year review of the state of bilateral ties as Islamabad sought to reach out to the new administration in Washington amid concerns that Pakistanis may be impacted by President Donald Trump’s controversial visa ban.

The Special Assistant to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Tariq Fatemi, met with US ambassador to the country David Hale to discuss cooperation and engagements with the new administration.

Foreign Office (FO) spokesman said in a statement that Fatemi in a meeting with Hale undertook an early year review of the state of Pak-US bilateral relations.

Fatemi the US Ambassador discussed the prospective engagements in the coming months as the new US Administration settles down in Washington DC, with the two expressing confidence that the momentum built over the past years, would be taken to higher levels, FO said.

Fatemi underscored the need to further deepen engagements between Pakistan and the US, both in the economic and security realms.

He also expressed confidence that by continuing to work together, the two countries will be able to strengthen cooperation in fighting terrorism, in promoting peace and security in the region and in harnessing the potential for regional connectivity.

The two sides noted that the strategic dialogue mechanism provided the requisite framework for constructive and mutually beneficial cooperation.

This Framework comprises of six Working Groups: (i) Law Enforcement & Counter-Terrorism (ii) Economy & Finance (iii) Education, Science & Technology (iv) Energy (v) Security, Strategic Stability and Non-Proliferation, and (vi) Defence Consultative Group.

Fatemi also said in the meeting that given the state of flux in global geo-political environment and growing turmoil in parts of the world, it was needed to pursue policies that promote harmony, inclusiveness and cooperation.

“In the present scenario, approaches that divide the world on religious, ethnic and racial lines should be eschewed,” he said.

The meeting came as Pakistan sought to reach out to the US administration in the wake of tough talking by Trump after he took over office.

It was the first meeting between the officials of the two nations after Pakistan detained Jud chief and Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed apparently under pressure from the US.

Trump last Friday issued an executive order banning the entry of citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries.

There has been increased concern among Pakistanis after top US officials hinted that Pakistan may be added to the list of countries whose citizens are barred from entering the US.

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