Pakistan an ‘important partner’, US Ambassador Blome says in first post-election meeting with PM Shehbaz

Published March 15, 2024
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif meets United States Ambassador Donald Blome in Islamabad on Friday. —
President PMLN X
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif meets United States Ambassador Donald Blome in Islamabad on Friday. — President PMLN X

United States Ambassador Donald Blome on Friday said Pakistan was considered an “important partner” and expressed hope in working with the newly elected government to continue building stronger bilateral ties.

The development came in a meeting between Blome and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, their first after the latter was recently elected as the premier, according to a press release from the Prime Minister’s Office.

Blome congratulated Shehbaz on his election who in turn expressed satisfaction with the current bilateral relations between the countries.

The premier emphasised the need to maintain the positive momentum in relations by existing dialogue mechanisms, trade, investment, energy, health, defence, education, agriculture and climate change.

Shehbaz said his government would focus on macroeconomic reforms to stabilise the economy and attract foreign investment.

He also highlighted the role of the Special Investment Facilitation Council in fast-tracking foreign investments in priority sectors in Pakistan.

The pair also discussed several issues of bilateral and regional significance, including the situation in Gaza and the Red Sea, and developments in Afghanistan. The premier also “forcefully” raised Dr Aafia Siddiqui’s issue in the meeting.

A statement from Acting US Mission Spokesperson Thomas Montgomery said the discussion also included partnering with the government on regional security, US support for continued economic reforms with and through the International Monetary Fund and private sector-led economic growth.

It pointed out that Blome also expressed US support for Pakistan’s democracy and the “key role of an independent press”.

EU ambassador meets new finance minister

Meanwhile, a separate meeting occurred between the European Union Ambassador in Pakistan Dr Riina Kionka and newly appointed Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb.

The minister appreciated the longstanding bilateral relations and development cooperation between the EU and Pakistan. He thanked the ambassador for the EU’s ongoing support in flood-affected areas of Pakistan

According to a press release issued by the Ministry of Finance, the minister apprised the EU ambassador about the important reform priorities of the government and shared possible areas of mutual collaboration, including digitisation and export competitiveness.

The ambassador acknowledged the government’s economic agenda and assured Aurangzeb of the EU’s continued support to Pakistan.

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