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The United States Pledges To help Pakistan Restore Its Economy

IMF officials in Washington confirmed that Pakistan and the IMF will begin review negotiations in Doha on Wednesday (today) in order to get a staff-level agreement for the release of a $1 billion tranche under an Extended Fund Facility (EFF)

A State Department official promised Pakistan strong US support for their efforts to restore the Pakistani economy shortly after Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari arrived in New York on Tuesday for a series of talks with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

The US “will continue to engage bilaterally on ways to expand investment and trade opportunities in order to build a successful and stable Pakistan,” a representative for the US State Department informed in Washington.

The US also “welcomes the continuing International Monetary Fund (IMF) negotiations with Pakistan,” according to the spokeswoman.

In addition, IMF officials in Washington confirmed that Pakistan and the IMF will begin review negotiations in Doha on Wednesday (today) in order to get a staff-level agreement for the release of a $1 billion tranche under an Extended Fund Facility (EFF).

The week-long assessment will provide Pakistan with an opportunity to persuade the IMF to restart a delayed $6 billion programme for stabilising its cash-strapped economy.

A public declaration of US support would bolster Islamabad’s efforts to resurrect the programme while also smoothing euphoric market tendencies.

The spokeswoman also acknowledged media reports of Secretary Blinken meeting with Mr Bhutto-Zardari one-on-one.

“We confirm Secretary Blinken and Foreign Minister Bhutto-Zardari will meet one-on-one to discuss a range of bilateral issues in a follow-up to their May 6 conversation,” said a US official.

Earlier, the foreign minister told media in New York that during his UN engagements, he would communicate Pakistan’s views on numerous problems with the international community.

Mr. Bhutto-Zardari is also in New York for a UN ministerial meeting on the Global Food Security Call for Action and the Security Council’s open discussion on international peacekeeping, with an emphasis on conflict and food security.

Both talks were convened by the US representation to the United Nations in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

“We are here to communicate Pakistan’s message with the United Nations,” Mr Bhutto-Zardari remarked to a gathering of Pakistani media at JFK airport in New York.

The PTI had planned a protest upon his arrival, however, they eventually cancelled the event. Even PML-N supporters avoided the small PPP mob that had arrived at the airport to see their leader.

The foreign minister travelled on an Emirates flight that was delayed due to a medical issue. Mr Bhutto-Zardari was accompanied by a top official from his ministry as well as several members of his personal staff. He was greeted by Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Munir Akram, its US ambassador, Ambassador Masood Khan, and other senior officials from both missions.

Re-establishment of relations with the United States

Speaking at the Foreign Office in Islamabad about Mr Bhutto-first Zardari’s official visit to the US, other upcoming overseas trips, and the new government’s external policy priorities, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar told the media that the government was committed to renewing ties with the US.

She described Mr Bhutto-Zardari’s meeting with Secretary Blinken as a “valuable chance” to deepen bilateral ties with the US.

Ms Khar shared the broad contours of foreign policy operations under the new minister, saying that promoting national interest would be the top priority; trust and confidence with partners would be rebuilt; old friendships would be consolidated and new ones would be forged; stability and continuity in policies would be provided while retaining the flexibility to adapt as needed; and the focus would be on the immediate neighbourhood as well as balanced, objective, broad-based, multi-dimensional, mutually beneficial relations with major powers.

Written By

Works at The Truth International Magazine. My area of interest includes international relations, peace & conflict studies, qualitative & quantitative research in social sciences, and world politics. Reach@ aimen.bukhari@tti.org.pk

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