In first meeting, Pakistan and US NSAs discuss bilateral issues, ways to advance cooperation

Published May 24, 2021
Pakistan National Security Adviser Dr Moeed Yusuf and his American counterpart Jake Sullivan. — APP/Reuters
Pakistan National Security Adviser Dr Moeed Yusuf and his American counterpart Jake Sullivan. — APP/Reuters

The Pakistani and US national security advisers met in Geneva, Switzerland on Sunday, the governments of both the countries said.

The meeting between Pakistan NSA Dr Moeed Yusuf and his American counterpart Jake Sullivan is the first in-person high-level contact between the two countries since the Biden administration assumed office in January.

"The National Security Advisers of Pakistan and the United States of America met in Geneva yesterday. Both sides had a positive conversation on a range of bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest and agreed to advance practical cooperation on these issues," a joint statement issued by Yusuf's office said.

A brief statement issued by US National Security Council spokesperson Emily Horne was worded similarly: "Both sides discussed a range of bilateral, regional, and global issues of mutual interest and discussed ways to advance practical cooperation. Both sides agreed to continue the conversation."

Also read: Pakistan to continue giving air, ground access, says Pentagon

In a tweet, NSA Yusuf said he was "pleased to meet US NSA @JakeSullivan46", adding that the Pakistan and US delegations had held positive discussions on a range of issues.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had appointed Yusuf as his NSA last week. According to a May 17 notification issued by the Cabinet Division, Dr Yusuf would, in his capacity as the NSA, enjoy the status of a federal minister.

He is the eighth person and the third civilian to hold this position since March 1969, when Maj Gen Ghulam Omar was appointed as the first NSA.

Dr Yusuf has in the past remained associated with the United States Institute for Peace, where he held the position of associate vice president of the Asia Centre.

The NSAs' meeting comes days after Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told US lawmakers that Pakistan was seeking a broad-based, strategic partnership with America, which would also cover Afghanistan.

In virtual meetings with members of the House of Representatives and the Senate, the foreign minister invited a group of 15 US lawmakers to visit Pakistan in June for consultations with their Pakistani counterparts and officials on how to improve bilateral relations.

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