Pakistan's new Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will embark on a two-day maiden visit to the US on May 18 during which he will attend a ministerial meeting on global food security at UN headquarters in New York and hold bilateral talks with his US counterpart Antony Blinken on key issues, the Foreign Office announced here on Monday.
This will be Bilawal's first foreign trip since assuming charge of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs last month.
Bilwal's US visit is taking place amid unprecedented deterioration in Pakistan-US ties, triggered by former prime minister Imran Khan’s claim that Washington conspired with Pakistan's Opposition leaders to topple his government. The Biden administration had rubbished Khan's allegations.
The ministerial meeting on “Global Food Security Call to Action” would be held at UN headquarters in New York on May 18 and US Secretary of State Blinken invited the foreign minister for the visit, according to Foreign Office.
The meeting will bring together a regionally diverse group of countries, including those most affected by food insecurity and those in a position to take action to address it. Ministers will be invited to speak on humanitarian needs and longer-term development efforts required to save lives and build resilience for the future.
The Foreign Minister will also participate in the Open Debate of the UN Security Council on “Maintenance of International Peace and Security – Conflict and Food Security” under the US Presidency of the Council on May 19.
Bilawal, 33, will highlight Pakistan’s perspective and policy priorities in the two meetings, the Foreign Office said.
While in New York, the Foreign Minister will have other important engagements on the sidelines, including a bilateral meeting with Secretary of State Blinken, it said.
Pakistan will continue to play a proactive role in supporting the international efforts to advance the shared objectives of a peaceful and stable world free of conflict, and poverty and hunger, it said.
Last week, Director General of the Inter-Services Intelligence (DG ISI) Lieutenant General Nadeem Anjum met senior US security officials, including National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and CIA Director William J Burns during his three-day US visit.
While neither side disclosed the talks, they were believed to have been focussed on bilateral security concerns and the situation in Afghanistan, as the US believes that Pakistan can help stabilise the neighbouring war-torn country.
(With PTI inputs)