ISLAMABAD: Islamabad and Washington made headway in their ties and agreed on joint efforts to advance the Afghan peace process as their senior officials met here to review key items on their bilateral agenda.
A statement from the US embassy at the conclusion of two day visit of Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice Wells Wednesday said the two countries also discussed the upcoming Geneva Conference on Afghanistan in her meetings with Pakistani officials.
The meeting comes in the wake of the understanding reached between Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Secretary Mike Pompeo in Washington last month where both sides vowed to rebuild the relationship "based on mutual trust and respect." Secretary Pompeo had said the United States looked forward to working with the new government of Pakistan in implementing its reform agenda.
Ambassador Wells met with Minister of Finance Asad Umer, senior officials from the ministries of foreign affairs and interior, and Director General Military Operations Nauman Zakria.
The United States (US) underscored the importance of all actors in the region takings steps to advance security, stability, and cooperation in South Asia, and welcomed the commitment from Pakistani officials to work towards this goal.
She reaffirmed the goal expressed by both Secretary Pompeo and Foreign Minister Qureshi to build a mutually-beneficial relationship based on trust.
The Foreign Office in a statement the other day said, "The meeting took stock of the understanding reached between the Foreign Minister Qureshi and Secretary Pompeo to rebuild the relationship based on mutual trust and respect."
Additional Secretary (Americas) Aftab Khokher, represented Pakistan in the delegation level talks with the United States. Pakistan urged the need to diversify the relationship with particular focus on enhanced economic and trade cooperation and people to people contacts.
The US delegation appreciated the need to strengthen the bilateral relationship with Pakistan which was an important country of the region. Evolving regional situation and peace and stability in Afghanistan were also discussed, the Foreign Office said.
Ambassador Wells also discussed opportunities to build business and economic ties between the United States and Pakistan, and explored other areas for growth in our bilateral relationship.
During her visit Ambassador Wells also met think tank representatives, regional security experts, and members of civil society. She highlighted the United States’ commitment to work collaboratively to advance the shared goals of the American and Pakistani people.