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ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari is set to undertake a two-day official visit to the United States from May 18, 2022 in a bid to reset the ties between the two countries after his trip to United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Foreign Minister Bilawal left for the UAE on Monday to offer condolences to the Al-Nahyan family, the leadership and people of the UAE on the passing away of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, Foreign Office said.

In the demise of Sheikh Khalifa, the UAE has lost a visionary and statesman, who profoundly transformed the country. “Pakistan has also lost a sincere friend and partner who made invaluable contributions towards strengthening fraternal ties between the two countries,” it added.

From the UAE, the Foreign Minister would proceed to New York at the invitation of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken for attending the ministerial meeting on “Global Food Security Call to Action” to be held at the United Nations on 18 May 2022.

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 U.S. Presidency of the Council on 19 May. The Foreign Minister will highlight Pakistan’s perspective and policy priorities in the two meetings, according to a statement of the Foreign Office.

“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 added.

While in New York, it added that the Foreign Minister will have other important engagements on the sidelines, including a bilateral meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

In his talks with Secretary Blinken, diplomatic sources said that the two sides would exchange views on issues on mutual importance, regional stability and the situations in Afghanistan. The sources said that the two sides are also expected to discuss ways and means for enhancing bilateral cooperation in areas of trade and investment, besides reviewing the current state of bilateral relations in the wake of the former Prime Minister and PTI chairman Imran Khan’s serious allegation of a regime change against the US.

Additionally, they stated that the US administration’s support is also critical for Pakistan in settling the issues with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Foreign Minister is also expected to discuss the matter with his American counterpart during his meeting.

After the conclusion of his US visit, the sources said that the Foreign Minister will return on May 19 and from May 20, he is expected to hold a two-day visit to China.

Following his China trip, the sources added that the Foreign Minister is also expected to visit Davos where he would attend the World Economic Forum, besides holding meetings with a number of his counterparts from various countries on the sidelines of the forum.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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