WASHINGTON, Oct 23: Ahead of a key meeting with US President Barack Obama, top US officials assured Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that the United States was committed to help Pakistan overcome its energy crisis.

US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and senior members of the Obama cabinet colleagues met Mr Sharif and his delegation over a dinner on Tuesday night and discussed with him two top priorities of his government — energy and economy.

A US Treasury spokesperson, described this as “an inter-agency discussion” of Pakistan’s energy sector and opportunities for trade and investment.

“The participants discussed Pakistan’s priorities for energy sector reform, including strategies for developing Pakistan’s domestic energy resources and rationalising regulation and pricing, and reviewed Prime Minister Sharif’s agenda for improving Pakistan’s trade and investment climate in order to attract new foreign investment,” the spokesperson said.

Besides Mr Lew, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, US Trade Representative Michael Froman and USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah also attended the working dinner.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Foreign Affairs Syed Tariq Fatemi, Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani and other officials accompanied the prime minister.

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