WASHINGTON: National Security and Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz has arrived in Washington to lead Pakistan-U.S. Strategic Dialogue with Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday, as the two countries look to finalize a blueprint aimed at bolstering future relationship.
The top-level Pakistani delegation includes Minister for Defense, Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif and senior officials. The American interlocutors will include senior level representatives from the Department of Energy, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, USAID, US Trade Representative and from the Treasury.
The officials will work to “put together a blueprint of where we can take this relationship over the course of the next six months to a year,” a State Department official said ahead of the revived ministerial dialogue that will focus on wide-ranging economic, energy and security areas.
Meanwhile, a report in the American media saw the dialogue as offering an opportunity for the United States and Pakistan to start a new chapter in their relationship, affected by years of Afghan war controversies.
The Voice of America noted that the war in Afghanistan strained the bilateral relationship. But now the U.S. is drawing down its troops from Afghanistan, and Secretary of State John Kerry says it’s time to resume a strategic dialogue. The broadcast service also quoted a statement of John Kerryin which he said the U.S. is committed to a long-term relationship with Pakistan.