Islamabad, January 17, 2020 (PPI-OT): Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi met senior Republican Senator Lindsey Graham on Capitol Hill Today. Foreign Minister Qureshi appreciated Senator Graham’s support for fortifying the Pakistan-U.S strategic partnership. The Foreign Minister and Senator Graham discussed bilateral relations and the regional situation. The Foreign Minister said that the two sides needed to expand cooperation in trade, agriculture and investment in order to translate Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Donald Trump’s vision for a broad based, long-term relationship into reality.
Senator Graham agreed with the Foreign Minister that sustained and high-level engagement between Pakistan and the United States were to the two countries’ mutual advantage. He assured the Foreign Minister of his personal support for increasing bilateral trade and enhancing cooperation in the agriculture sector. He reiterated the importance of working towards a Free Trade Agreement to realize the two leaderships’ vision for more robust trade and economic engagement between the two countries.
The Foreign Minister also briefed the Senator on Pakistan’s continuing efforts for facilitating a peaceful political settlement in Afghanistan. He said Pakistan hoped for the early initiation of an intra-Afghan dialogue and had called on all parties to reduce violence. Lauding Pakistan leadership’s vision for peace in the region at large, Senator Graham appreciated Pakistan’s role in facilitating the political reconciliation process in Afghanistan.
Foreign Minister Qureshi expressed concern about the prevailing tensions in the Middle East. Referring to his recent visits to Iran and Saudi Arabia and telephone conversations with Foreign Ministers of other regional countries, the Foreign Minister said that Pakistan was actively playing its role in support of efforts for de-escalation and resolution of the issue through diplomacy for peace in the region.
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