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FO Says: Pakistan in ‘contact with US’ on energy requirements

In Islamabad, Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch stated on Friday that Pakistan is engaging with the United States regarding its energy requirements.

During her weekly media briefing, the spokesperson mentioned having observed the US statement concerning Pakistan’s interest in obtaining energy from Iran.

Earlier this week, a State Department spokesperson cautioned Islamabad about the “potential risk of sanctions” following Iranian President Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi’s visit to Pakistan.

Contrarily, Baloch asserted that Pakistan and Iran maintain cooperative trade relations to meet Pakistan’s essential needs, emphasizing preferential trade cooperation.

She highlighted that during President Raisi’s three-day visit, discussions on the Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline occurred, as reflected in the subsequent joint statement. Both nations deliberated on energy and electricity trade, she added.

In a joint statement issued on April 24, Pakistan and Iran reaffirmed the significance of energy cooperation and electricity trade, despite hints of potential sanctions from the United States following Raisi’s visit.

Following the departure of the Iranian head of state from Karachi to Tehran, the Foreign Office released a joint statement outlining bilateral agreements, including details regarding the Pak-Iran gas pipeline project agreed upon by both nations.

The issuance of the FO’s statement occurred a day subsequent to the US State Department’s suggestion of potential sanctions concerning business dealings between the two countries.

Additionally, Baloch disclosed ongoing discussions with Iran regarding a free trade agreement, expressing concerns over the politicization of export controls.

Furthermore, the FO spokesperson highlighted talks with Iran regarding the trade route linking Gwadar and Chabahar ports, emphasizing the robust bilateral relations between Pakistan and Iran.

Regarding Israel’s actions in Palestine, Baloch condemned Israel’s aggression and called for international scrutiny of Palestinian suffering under Israeli apartheid. She underscored Pakistan and Iran’s alignment on the issues of Gaza and Kashmir.

Baloch criticized the “2023 Country Report on Human Rights Practices” released by the US State Department, alleging an inadequate procedure in its preparation.

PM Shehbaz to attend World Economic Forum meeting in Riyadh

During the press briefing, Baloch also announced that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is scheduled to attend the World Economic Forum Special Meeting on Global Collaboration, Growth, and Energy, taking place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, from April 28 to 29.

Accompanied by Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar, the prime minister will partake in this high-level forum, where they will articulate Pakistan’s priorities, particularly focusing on global health architecture, inclusive growth, rejuvenating regional collaboration, and the imperative of balancing growth with energy consumption.

Additionally, on the sidelines of the main event, both the prime minister and Dar will engage in bilateral meetings with world leaders, heads of international organizations, and other prominent figures in attendance.

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