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Print Print 2023-02-15

US State Dept official to arrive on 17th

ISLAMABAD: Counsellor of the US Department of State Derek Cholletis arriving in Islamabad on Friday to hold crucial...
Published February 15, 2023

ISLAMABAD: Counsellor of the US Department of State Derek Cholletis is arriving in Islamabad on Friday to hold crucial talks with senior Pakistani officials aimed at strengthening economic ties, enhancing counterterrorism cooperation, and collaborating efforts to address the impacts of the climate crisis.

The US State Department Counsellor is due in Islamabad on February 17 along with a high-level delegation to meet with senior government officials, civil society members, and business leaders to highlight the importance of our bilateral partnership and reaffirm our countries’ shared goals.

On Monday, the US State Department announced that Chollet will lead a US delegation to Bangladesh and Pakistan from February 14-18.

Energy security talks with US next month

It added that Counsellor Chollet will be joined by Clinton White, Counsellor of the US Agency for International Development, and Elizabeth Horst, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs at the US Department of State, and, in Bangladesh only, Beth Van Schaack, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Criminal Justice.

In Pakistan, the State Department said that the delegation will meet with senior officials to discuss strengthening economic ties, cooperating to address the impacts of the climate crisis, and expanding the people-to-people connections between the United States and Pakistan.

“The delegation will also reaffirm the strong security cooperation between our nations. Counsellor Chollet will convey US condolences for the recent terrorist attack at a Peshawar mosque, and reaffirm our solidarity with the Pakistani people as they continue to recover from the devastating 2022 floods,” it added.

Chollet arrived in Bangladesh on Tuesday from where he would be arriving in Islamabad for a two-day visit on February 17.

Sources said that Chollet and his delegation will hold talks in Foreign Office followed by a likely call on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to discuss strengthening bilateral relations, economic cooperation and enhancing cooperation in efforts of countering terrorism.

They said that Counsellor Chollet is also likely to hold a meeting with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar to discuss strengthening economic cooperation between the two countries.

The sources further maintained that the senior State Department official and his delegation is also expected to hold a meeting with Chief of Army Staff General Asim Munir at the GHQ in Rawalpindi.

Upon getting the task to repair ties strained under former Prime Minister Imran Khan, Counsellor Derek Chollet along with a delegation of senior US government officials from the State Department, Department of Defence, US Agency for International Development, and the White House National Security Council had earlier visited Islamabad on September 7-9 last year to demonstrate Biden administration’s continued support for US-Pakistan partnership

During the three-day visit Counsellor Chollet met with the prime minister, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, then minister for finance Miftah Ismail, and then army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa (retired).

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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