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FM Shah Mehmood to meet US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo next week

Shah Mehmood Qureshi is set to meet his American counterpart, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

WASHINGTON – Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi is set to meet his American counterpart, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, on October 2.

Qureshi is meeting the American official on an invitation extended by Pompeo when he toured Islamabad; the foreign minister is already in the United States for the United Nations General Assembly session (UNGA).

The UNGA session is scheduled to begin from Tuesday and Qureshi will address the assembly on Saturday.

Qureshi, who is on his second official tour after assuming charge, said on Sunday that Pakistan needed to maintain its relationship with the United States.

Washington has always benefitted from the bilateral ties with Islamabad, however, Pakistan will now work on what is favourable for it, Qureshi noted.

The foreign minister also highlighted that Pakistan should also develop and continue the friendly relationship it has with its northside neighbour, China.

Linkages with both of the ally states were necessary, said the minister and added that Pakistan desires foreign relations based on mutual respect and equality.

Speaking at an interactive session with the Pakistani-American community at the Pakistani Embassy, Qureshi said Prime Minister Imran Khan was keen for the country to engage with the expatriates in the US because he knows and appreciates their strengths and contributions.

On the issue of Peace in Afghanistan, Qureshi commented that Islamabad wants peace in the war-torn country citing that his first foreign trip, after assuming the office, was to Kabul.

‘A political solution and not a military one was needed for the Afghan conflict especially taking into account that Pakistan’s peace and well-being was directly related to that in Afghanistan,’ Qureshi observed.

The foreign minister opined that mutual talks and understanding helps build trust, while two-way communications facilitate both countries to understand each other’s policies.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi headed to Saturday while leading the Pakistani delegation which will join leaders of various nations at the 73rd session of UNGA.

Islamabad’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Maleeha Lodhi explained that ‘a hectic programme awaits the Foreign Minister, who will attend several high-level events and hold close to two dozen bilateral meetings’.

Lodhi elaborated that Qureshi will outline the new government’s priorities and its position and policy on key international and regional issues, including the situation in occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

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