- FM Bilawal stresses need to bolster Pakistan, US ties.
- He says 90% of conversation is on cooperation now.
- Blinken extends support to Pakistan amid floods, terrorism.
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said Tuesday that Pakistan and the United States relations are being reshaped, with an emphasis on creating economic opportunities.
In an interview with MSNBC, he said with consistent engagement at high levels and bilateral exchanges, the relations between Islamabad and Washington are moving ahead positively.
The foreign minister said the nations could build a sustainable long-term partnership, which is in the interest of the people of both countries.
FM Bilawal said in the past, 90% of the conversation between the two countries used to be on terrorism. However, currently, “90% of the discussion takes place on economic cooperation and other areas, including terrorism”.
“This is a positive sign for Pakistan-US relations. We can’t change what happened in the past. We can learn from the past and engage with each other with realistic expectations,” the foreign minister remarked.
Regarding climate change and recent floods in Pakistan, he said the country has started to prepare National Adaptation Plan for building resilience to climate change.
The foreign minister said to become a climate-resilient country, Pakistan needs to invest in energy transition, which requires international support.
Counting on the losses caused by recent floods that have washed away 10% of Pakistan’s GDP, he stressed that adaptation is needed in a manner that if we face such catastrophe in future, we should be in a better position to cope with it.
US extends support
Later in the day, US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken spoke to FM Bilawal and expressed his continued support for the people of Pakistan as they recover from the recent devastating floods, the department’s spokesperson said in a statement.
The statement mentioned that Secretary Blinken and FM Bilawal Zardari shared their mutual hope for a productive International Conference on Climate Resilient Pakistan in January and discussed the need for close coordination.
The secretary also offered condolences for lives lost in recent terrorist attacks and underscored the United States’ resolute support for Pakistan as it combats terrorism, the spokesperson added.
During a press briefing earlier, State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said the US would help the country in dealing with the threats posed by the militant outfits.
“We have partnered with our Pakistani friends to take on — to help them take on this challenge. We stand ready to assist, whether with this unfolding situation or more broadly,” he said when asked to comment on the situation at a counterterrorism centre in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Bannu city.