- Sources say Islamabad and Washington agreed to hold bilateral talks.
- FM Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari to lead Pakistani delegation.
- National security, situation in Afghanistan and terrorism on talks agenda.
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and United States will hold delegation-level talks in Washington from December 19-21, as the authorities on both sides have agreed on a bilateral dialogue, The News reported citing sources.
The Pakistani delegation will be led by Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, sources said.
Matters including economic cooperation, trade and other will be brought under discussion during the talks. The two sides will also discuss the national security, situation in Afghanistan and terrorism.
The sources said Bilawal will also visit New York where he will preside over a G77 programme.
He is also scheduled to tour Indonesia and Singapore for three days. In Indonesia, FM Bilawal will meet his counterpart Rento Marsudi. Bilawal Bhutto will discuss bilateral matters with Singapore President Halima Yacob and Foreign Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan during his visit.
The US is Pakistan’s largest bilateral trade partner and one of its largest sources of foreign direct investment, with US investment in Pakistan increasing more than 50% in the past year.
During his visit to Karachi last month, US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome emphasised on strong Pak-US ties and the need to further strengthen the robust economic partnership and public health cooperation between the two countries.
Blome said that he is committed to boosting bilateral trade and investment between the two countries under the US-Pakistan Green Alliance that seeks to promote climate-smart agriculture and private sector-led growth in Pakistan.
Bilawal says US, Pakistan in talks to boost trade
FM Bilawal also advocated boosting bilateral trade between Pakistan and US, saying that the ties between the two countries were no longer hyphenated with Afghanistan and India as Washington and Islamabad were discussing ways to enhance trade and economic cooperation.
“Not only I am presently surprised but I am absolutely impressed by the new foreign policy approach of the US towards Pakistan,” said Bilawal while responding to a question related to Pakistan-US ties at the Wilson Centre in Washington, reported foreign media.
Bilawal said Pakistan and the US have for a long time seen each other through the prism of Afghanistan.
While responding to a question that some sections of the media were reporting that “US schooled Pakistan” on maintaining ties with India and China, Bilawal dismissed the reports, saying “he (Blinken) is an incredible human being and can never talk in such tone”.