Pak PM to highlight need to resolve disputes through talks during US visit

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s first meeting with US President Donald Trump on July 22 will help “reinvigorate” the bilateral ties and during the visit he would also highlight the need to resolve “disputes” through dialogue and promote peace in South Asia, the foreign office has said.

The White House and Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday announced Prime Minister Khan’s maiden visit to the US at the invitation of President Trump, ending some confusion in both capitals.

The ministry said that Prime Minister Khan will visit the US on July 21 to 23.

“This would be the first summit-level engagement between Pakistan and the United States since both leaders assumed their respective offices,” it said in a statement.

During the visit, Khan and Trump would have wide-ranging interaction at the White House on July 22 covering bilateral and regional matters, it said.

Geo News, quoting diplomatic sources, claimed the visit had been finalised after hectic behind-the-scene efforts by the two sides through the diplomatic channels.

Officials said Khan would share his perspective on the Afghan endgame as well as how to build trust between the Pakistan and the United States.

During his various engagements in Washington, the Prime Minister will outline his vision of ‘Naya Pakistan’ and underscore the importance Pakistan attaches to a broader and multi-faceted relationship with the United States, the foreign office statement said.

“The Prime Minister’s visit will help renew and reinvigorate long-standing ties between Pakistan and the United States,” the statement said.

“It will contribute towards building a broad-based, long-term and enduring partnership between the two countries on the basis of mutual interest and mutual benefit,” it added.

Asked to comment on Khan’s schedule in Washington, state department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus told journalists on Wednesday that she would reach out to the White House to confirm or not confirm the visit. “To my knowledge, that has actually not been confirmed by the White House. I know that I have read the same reports that you have, but I would reach out to the White House to confirm or not confirm that visit, but that’s – we don’t have anything to announce here from the State Department,” Ortagus said.