Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has discussed America's support for cash-strapped Pakistan's economic recovery and shared regional concerns, including Afghanistan in a phone call with Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
The two leaders on Monday discussed various issues and agreed to strengthen ties and continue to work together to promote peace and development, the foreign office said here.
In a tweet last night, Blinken said that the US "supports a productive, democratic, and prosperous partnership with Pakistan" adding that he exchanged thoughts with Bilawal on supporting the country's "economic recovery and our shared regional concerns, including Afghanistan".
Reiterating America's commitment to the people of Pakistan, Blinken said that "Pakistan's economic development is one of the United States's top priorities", the foreign office said.
Pakistan has been facing rising incidents of terrorism, with local authorities blaming Kabul for harbouring terrorists — especially the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
The secretary noted the Pakistani people have suffered tremendously from terrorist attacks and affirmed the United States' commitment to continued partnership with Pakistan on counterterrorism.
Apart from the regional security situation, matters of mutual interest and defence cooperation were also discussed, the military's media wing mentioned in a statement.
Both countries have called on war-torn Afghanistan to ensure that its soil isn't used as a safe haven by terrorists.
Thanking the US for its support, Bilawal said that the standby arrangement between Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) would provide “impetus to Pakistan’s economic and development imperatives and that Pakistan was committed to bringing structural reforms in its economy to make it more competitive and attractive for business and foreign investment,” the statement added.
Separately, US State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a statement that Blinken spoke on the phone with Bilawal to “reaffirm a productive US-Pakistan partnership”.
“Secretary Blinken underscored the United States’ steadfast commitment to the people of Pakistan, highlighting that the economic success of Pakistan remains a top priority for the US,” Miller said.
He further said that Blinken noted that the US would continue to engage with Pakistan through technical and development initiatives and through robust trade and investment ties.
Blinken also welcomed the IMF arrangement with Islamabad and “encouraged continued reforms to promote economic recovery and prosperity,” he said.
“Secretary Blinken stressed that democratic principles and respect for the rule of law are central to the US-Pakistan relationship and these values will continue to guide this partnership forward,” Miller said.
Blinken and Bilawal also discussed the destabilising effects of Russia’s war against Ukraine as well as the US and Pakistan’s shared interest in a peaceful and stable Afghanistan, Miller added.