Blinken, Bilawal discuss bilateral ties in first contact since formation of new government in Pakistan


Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari received a phone call from Secretary Blinken, the Foreign Ministry (FO) said in a statement on Friday.

Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari received a phone call from Secretary Blinken, the Foreign Ministry (FO) said in a statement on Friday.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken held a telephone conversation with his Pakistani counterpart Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, the first high-level contact since a new government took power in the country, and exchanged views on various aspects bilateral relations.

The conversation came weeks after ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan alleged the United States was behind the ‘foreign plot’ to overthrow his government through a vote of no confidence tabled by the opposition.

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister received a phone call from Secretary Blinken, the Foreign Ministry (FO) said in a statement on Friday.

During the phone call, Secretary Blinken congratulated Bilawal on taking office and expressed a desire to continue strengthening the mutually beneficial bilateral relationship between Pakistan and the United States.

Exchanging views on various aspects of Pakistan-US relations, Bilawal pointed out that Pakistan and the US have long enjoyed a broad relationship.

He added that a constructive and sustained engagement between the two countries, based on mutual respect and interest, was essential to promote peace, development and security in the region and beyond.

Bilawal stressed that Pakistan’s vision is centered on human development, regional connectivity and a peaceful neighborhood.

According to the State Department, Secretary Blinken reiterated during the call a desire to strengthen the broad-based bilateral relationship.

The Secretary underscored the strong commitment of the United States and Pakistan to Afghan stability and the fight against terrorism. The secretary and foreign minister also highlighted ongoing engagement on trade and investment, climate, energy, health and education, he added.

Building on cooperation between Pakistan and the United States in combating the COVID-19 pandemic over the past two years, Secretary Blinken invited Pakistan to the second Global COVID Summit to be held virtually over later this month, the FO said.

An invitation has also been extended by the Secretary of State for Pakistan’s participation in the Ministerial Meeting on World Food Security to be held in New York on May 18.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Secretary of State agreed to stay in contact and to strengthen their engagement on regional and global issues of mutual interest.

It was the first contact between foreign ministers since the formation of a new government in Pakistan last month.

Former Prime Minister Khan had named senior US diplomat Donald Lu as the person believed to have been involved in the “foreign plot” to overthrow his government through a vote of no confidence tabled by the opposition. The United States has repeatedly denied Khan’s claims.

Mr Khan claims the US was behind the plot to impeach him because of his criticism of US policy and other foreign policy decisions he made.

Mr Khan traveled to Moscow to meet President Vladimir Putin as Russia launched the invasion of Ukraine. He has already criticized the American “war on terrorism”.

Pakistan’s ties with Russia have moved beyond Cold War hostilities in recent years, and the chilling relationship between Pakistan and the United States has pushed the country further towards Russia and China.

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