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US voices its support for the upcoming visit of Saudi Crown Prince to Pakistan

The United States expressed its support for the visit of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) to Pakistan, stating that Washington “encourages” such diplomatic engagements.

“We always support diplomatic engagement between our partners. It’s a routine aspect of diplomacy that we endorse and encourage,” said US State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller during a press briefing in Washington.

His comments followed Deputy Prime Minister Ishaq Dar’s confirmation that the much-anticipated visit of the Saudi monarch to Pakistan was “on the cards,” with the final dates expected to be received from the kingdom this month.

“InshaAllah, the visit is due, and I believe we may receive final dates from Saudi Arabia anytime in May,” Dar said.

The crown prince had informed PM Shehbaz, during his visit to the Kingdom in Ramadan, about his planned visit to Pakistan after initial meetings between Pakistani and Saudi officials, FM Dar added.

A 50-member high-level Saudi trade delegation, led by Deputy Investment Minister Ibrahim Almubarak, also visited Pakistan from May 5 to 6 to explore various avenues of trade and investment to further strengthen bilateral relations.

Regarding Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi’s visit to Pakistan last month, the State Department spokesperson welcomed the de-escalation between Tehran and Islamabad following cross-border strikes earlier in the year.

When asked about the meeting between US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome and a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) delegation, Miller acknowledged the development.

He mentioned that the envoy met with opposition members, including National Assembly’s Opposition Leader Omar Ayub, “to discuss a broad range of issues important to the bilateral relationship.”

Responding to reports that the PTI delegation voiced concerns during the meeting regarding human rights violations and false cases against party founder Imran Khan, the spokesperson reiterated that Washington does not take any position on Pakistani elections.

“We take no position with respect to any particular political party, and of course, we want to see basic human rights upheld,” he emphasized.

The PTI delegation, consisting of Ayub, party Chairman Gohar Ali Khan, Asad Qaiser, and Raoof Hasan, met the US envoy in the federal capital earlier this week.

Ayub, speaking to journalists after the meeting with the US ambassador, said: “Matters related to military courts and cases against the PTI founder and other party leaders were discussed with the US envoy.”

“We have repeatedly said that these are Pakistan’s internal issues,” he added.

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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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