US looks forward to ‘working closely’ with Shehbaz govt across regional, international issues – World

State Department spokeswoman Ned Price said on Tuesday that the United States “expects to work closely” with the newly elected Prime Minister Shebaz Sharif and his government on regional and international issues.

This senior official said at a press briefing today in response to a reporter’s question:

“For nearly 75 years, our relationship with Pakistan has been very important,” he said. “We look forward to continuing to work with the new government of Pakistan on regional and international issues. This is work that has the potential to promote peace and prosperity in Pakistan and in the region as a whole.

“We have already congratulated the new Pakistani Prime Minister Shebaz Sharif on the election, and we are working. Excuse me. We look forward to working closely with his government.”

At a press briefing on Tuesday, Price was answering questions about reports of Pakistan’s airstrikes on Afghanistan. “We are aware of reports of Pakistani airstrikes in Afghanistan, but we will seek comment from the Pakistani government,” a US official said.

The State Department spokesman’s statement came after Shevaz’s predecessor, Prime Minister Imran Khan, claimed Washington was behind a conspiracy to overthrow the government.

He bases his assertions on diplomatic telegrams in which State Department officials are known to have warned of “consequences” for bilateral relations if a failed no-confidence agreement with Khan. Washington denied the allegations.

A US State Department spokeswoman said at a media briefing on Tuesday that the US sees Pakistan as “an important stakeholder and partner” involved in bringing a stable and secure Afghanistan.

“And most importantly, Afghanistan respects the basic and fundamental rights of its people and of all peoples, including minorities, women and girls,” Price added.

Afghan border issue

Reuters Afghanistan’s foreign ministry said it had summoned the Pakistani ambassador to Kabul for a diplomatic march to Islamabad in response to recent attacks in Afghanistan’s eastern Khost and Kunar provinces.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, “The government is assessing the situation and will announce its position accordingly.” In a statement on Sunday, the Foreign Ministry strongly condemned the use of Afghan land by terrorists to conduct activities in Pakistan and urged the Afghan government to take strict measures against such elements while Kabul’s “independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity”

“Pakistan will continue to work closely with the Afghan government to strengthen bilateral relations in all areas,” Pakistan said in a statement.

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