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Pakistan’s foreign minister in New York; US offers help to rebuild its economy

This is the first high-level meeting between senior officials of the two countries after the ties between Islamabad and Washington suffered first due to the return of the Taliban in Afghanistan and thereafter accusation of the regime change conspiracy by former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan

May 18, 2022
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Pakistan’s foreign minister in New York; US offers help to rebuild its economy (Dawn)

The United States on Tuesday assured its strong support to rebuild Pakistan's economy, the State Department said, hours after Pakistan's Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto reached New York on his first foreign visit to take part in a UN event on food security.

Washington “will continue to work bilaterally on ways to grow investment and trade opportunities to build a prosperous and stable Pakistan,” Ned Price, the spokesperson of the State Department, said in a press conference on Tuesday.

The remark came at a time when Pakistan's economy has been struggling amid fast depleting reserves while the government has sought support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).  On Tuesday, the United States also welcomed the "ongoing International Monetary Fund (IMF) deliberations with Pakistan,” the spokesperson added.

Bhutto, who is scheduled to take part in the UN ministering meeting on the Global Food Security, told reporters that he would share Pakistan’s perspective on various issues with the international community during his UN engagements.

Bhutto, whose father was Pakistan's president and his mother and grandfather were prime ministers and who was appointed as Pakistan's foreign minister last month, is also scheduled to meet US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. The two ministers had earlier held talks over phone.
This is the first high-level meeting between senior officials of the two countries after the ties between Islamabad and Washington suffered first due to the return of the Taliban in Afghanistan and thereafter accusation of the regime change conspiracy by former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan. Significantly, Pakistan and the IMF are scheduled to start their review talks in Doha on Wednesday (today) to strike a staff-level agreement for the release of a $1 billion tranche under an Extended Fund Facility (EFF).

The bailout package agreed upon in 2019 remains stalled since 202o amid non-compliance with proposed measures by Islamabad. The review comes as the government has hinted that they would take hard measures to stabilize the economy.

(SAM)

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