Pakistan’s civil govt primary interlocutor in bilateral ties: US – Washington News
Washington, Oct 12 (IANS) Ned Price, spokesman of the US State Department, has said that the civilian government of Pakistan is the “primary interlocutor” in bilateral ties between Islamabad and Washington as he answered questions related to the country and the army chief’s recent visit.
Referring to Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s trip, Price said: “The Deputy Secretary Wendy Sherman did have an opportunity to meet with the chief of the army staff Mr Bajwa,” The Express Tribune reported.
Addressing a press conference Washington D.C., he added that “we value our longstanding cooperation with Pakistan”.
“There are a number of areas where our interests are aligned. Of course, the stability and the future of Afghanistan, of the Afghan people, the security challenges that the region and potentially beyond face there always are on the agenda when we have high-level engagements with our Pakistani counterparts,” The Express Tribune quoted the spokesman as saying.
“We meet with and speak with them regularly on a range of issues,” Price noted but also stated that “as is standard practice, we don’t delve into the details of those engagements always”.
Earlier this month, Gen Bajwa was in the US on a five-day trip in yet another sign of stepped-up efforts by both sides to improve their fraught and difficult relations.
During the press briefing in Washington, journalists probed for further details of the visit and asked if Gen Bajwa had also met with US Secretary Blinken.
However, Price brushed off the questions saying “we do not have any meetings to read out”.
“The meeting I referred to was between Deputy Secretary Sherman and the chief of the army staff,” he clarified.
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