A session of bilateral talks between Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar And senior Us diplomats held in Foreign office, Islamabad.
United States Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides called on Foreign Minister, Hina Rabbani Khar and discussed issues related to regional security, mutual interests and new parameters for re-engagements between the two countries.
The visit of U.S. Deputy Secretary to Pakistan is the first ever highest visit from State Department following the Salala incident that marred Pak-US relations.
The US State Department said Nides’ visit is part of the re-engagement process with the Pakistani government.
During the meeting of US Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides with Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, Pakistan once again asked the United States to respect the country’s red lines regarding territorial sovereignty and integrity.
In a statement following the delegation level talks, the US Secretary of State Thomas Nides said Washington respects the sovereignty of Pakistan.
He said the completion of the parliamentary process in Pakistan offers an important opportunity to ensure enduring, strategic relationship between Pakistan and United States and clearly define these ties between the two countries.
He said sustained engagement between the two countries is the most productive way forward to overcome the challenges.
Thomas Nides said his country shares the goal of the stability and prosperity of Pakistan, Afghanistan and the region.
“We want cooperation with Pakistan in diverse fields including increasing the trade activities,” he said.
Acknowledging Pakistan’s sacrifices in the fight against terrorism, the US Deputy Secretary of State said, “we seek to find solutions of challenges while respecting each other’s interests”.
Foreign Secretary, Jalil Abbas Jilani giving detail of the meeting said the visit of the US Deputy Secretary of State is taking place at a critical juncture when the parliamentary process is underway to work out recommendations for engagements with the America.
He said the United States being the oldest democracy understands the importance of this democratic approach which will then become the basis of Pakistan’s foreign policy.
The foreign secretary said, “Pakistan considers its relations with the United States as important in terms of bilateral, regional and international contexts.”
He said the relationship has been under strains for the last several months due to the divergence of views on a number of issues including the Salala check post incident.
Describing the delegation level talks as candid and fruitful, he said, “We have reiterated our position with regard to certain red lines that require respect for its territorial sovereignty”.
The foreign secretary said Islamabad is committed to fight terrorism and extremism and will continue to play a constructive role for the establishment of peace and security in the region.
Jalil Abbas Jilani said, “We have underscored in today’s meeting that Pakistan being an important neighbor will play a positive role in the Afghan reconciliation process.”
He however said the process will be Afghan led and Afghan owned.