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Shah Mehmood to meet NSA at White House

01 October, 2018

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Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will hold a meeting with the country's National Security Adviser (NSA) John Bolton at the White House.

Qureshi had arrived in Washington DC on Sunday for talks on bilateral relations with US officials following his trip to New York for the United Nation's General Assembly session. He is expected to meet both, Bolton and Pompeo, on Tuesday.

His first stop is expected to be the White House where he will meet Bolton for talks on untangling Pakistan’s ruffled relations with the US. He will then proceed to the US State Department for his second meeting with the secretary of state.

On Monday, Qureshi will meet Pakistani diplomats and experts to prepare for the crucial talks that are to be held on Tuesday.

Pompeo and Qureshi first met in Islamabad early in September when the US government approached the new Pakistani government to discuss key issues that have strained decades-old ties between the two countries.

In a briefing about his earlier meeting, Pompeo said that, following the election of Prime Minister Imran Khan in July, the US "wanted to get out there at the beginning of his time in an effort to reset the relationship between the two countries".

It was during his Islamabad visit that Pompeo invited the Pakistani foreign minister to visit Washington for further talks.
Pak-US relations and the Afghan dynamic

Speaking to a US radio station over the weekend about the newly-elected government's foreign policy objectives, particularly in regard to the US and Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, the new US envoy for Afghanistan said: “Pakistan says now that it wants to turn a new page, that it wants to help the US with this objective (Afghan reconciliation) that I outlined. And we'll have to see”.

Khalilzad said that the Trump administration was ready to learn from the new Pakistani government about how they wanted to address the main issue, Afghanistan.

When asked about how the two countries would overcome the lack of trust that prevents them from rebuilding ties, he said, “It's not about trust. I mean, we're talking about international politics. Trust is good, but, you know, you have to verify, and that would apply to a lot of states.”

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