US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday met with Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in Washington DC and discussed a host of issues including the latest developments in the Middle East, the Afghan peace process, stability in South Asia and the Kashmir issue.
"In my meeting today with US Secretary of State @SecPompeo, discussed engagement between Pakistan and the US, its mutual benefit, along with it being a factor for stability in South Asia. Exchanged how stronger trade and investment is imp for an enduring partnership," he said. "The convergence between Pakistan and the US stands as a unique opp for peace in Afghanistan, ultimately a shared responsibility. Discussed recent developments in ME and reiterated Pakistan will continue to play a part for peace in the entire region. We are committed to security and stability," Qureshi said in a follow-up tweet. Qureshi also discussed the situation in Jammu and Kashmir with the top US diplomat.
On the other hand, Pompeo said he "enjoyed" meeting with Qureshi and talked about issues including Afghan peace process, "countering Iranian aggression" and bilateral trade relations. The State Department also issued a statement on the meeting between Qureshi and Pompeo. "Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo met with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi today in Washington, D.C. Secretary Pompeo and Minister Qureshi discussed a range of issues, including Iran's malign activities in the region, the importance of U.S.-Pakistan cooperation on the Afghan peace process, and building bilateral economic ties." State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said.
Qureshi is on a two-day visit to the US in a bid to support efforts for de-escalating and resolving tensions in the Middle East through political and diplomatic means. The Pakistan Foreign Minister is undertaking the visit under the directions of Prime Minister Imran Khan in the wake of simmering tensions in the region following the killing of top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani by the US in Iraq earlier this month.
Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had called for "maximum restraint" and accentuated the need to talk to resolve the latest flare-up in the Iran-US tensions. The Pakistani Foreign Officer released the statement after Qureshi's meeting with the top Iranian leadership. On directions of Imran Khan, Pakistan Foreign Minister had even embarked on his two-day visit last week to Iran and Saudi Arabia to defuse the ongoing tensions in the region following the killing of Iran's Commander Qasem Soleimani in a US-led drone strike in Baghdad.
Pakistan's Army had asserted that the country, that shares its border with Iran, will not allow its soil to be used against anyone. In the 1980s Pakistan's soil was used against the Soviet Union by the US. In a similar proclamation, Imran Khan said that Pakistan will not be a party to any regional conflict, and would rather make a peacemarker's role. Pakistan's first response over the issue did not come from the government, but unsurprisingly, from the Pakistani military.
(with ANI inputs)