US, Pak to maintain ‘dialogue to advance shared interests’: State Dept spox

WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi “reiterated their desire to maintain constructive dialogue to advance shared interests”, a spokesperson for the US Department of State said.

In a statement issued on the State Department website, spokesperson Heather Nauert said Pompeo told Qureshi that the US “looked forward to working with Pakistan’s new government”.

The Pakistani foreign minister had called on the US state secretary here at the State Department office earlier the day to discuss “a range of bilateral and regional issues of mutual interest”, in what became his third meeting with his American counterpart this month, after the latter invited him to visit Washington during his visit to Islamabad last month.

Of that September trip, Nauert noted that it was “a good trip” and that the American and Pakistani leadership “had good, fruitful meetings”.

She went on to say: “Secretary Pompeo discussed the importance of the United States and Pakistan working together to advance joint priorities, recognizing that bilateral cooperation was mutually beneficial and a factor for stability in South Asia.”

The top US official also “underscored a common goal to advance peace and security in the broader region” — South Asia — and “the important role Pakistan could play in bringing about a negotiated settlement in Afghanistan”.

Pompeo concurred that “there was momentum to advance the Afghan peace process, and that the Afghan Taliban should seize the opportunity for dialogue”, the spokesperson added.

“Secretary Pompeo and the Foreign Minister agreed to remain engaged on these and other issues, and reiterated their desire to maintain constructive dialogue to advance shared interests,” she noted. INP

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