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WASHINGTON: The United States of America has welcomed the staff-level agreement between Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) aimed at stabilizing Islamabad’s economy.

At his daily press briefing in Washington, State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller said the US would continue to support Pakistan through the process as Washington’s support for Islamabad’s economic success is unwavering.

“Our support for the Pakistan’s economic success is unwavering and we will continue to engage with Pakistan through technical engagements and continue to strengthen our trade and investment ties, all of which are priorities for our bilateral relationship,” Matthew Miller said.

“We believe Pakistan has a lot of hard work ahead to be on a long-term sustainable path to economic recovery and prosperity, but we will continue to stand by them through that process,” he said.

Replying to a question, Miller said that the United States does not ask Pakistan or any other country to choose between the United States and China or to choose between the United States and any other country.

“Our relations with Pakistan build on our close people-to-people ties, and we will continue to seek ways to expand our partnership and economic ties,” he added.

The State Department spokesperson said that their economic cooperation with Pakistan reflects their vision for the region as one of – comprised of nations that are independent, strong, and prosperous and our relationships are based on a spirit of respect and partnership.

Asked about a recent interview of Pakistan’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Hina Rabbani Khar, in which she said that Islamabad had no appetite to pick a side amid the growing global rivalry between Washington and Beijing, the spokesperson said that the US does not ask nations to make such a choice.

In the interview with POLITICO, an American news website, Hina Khar insisted, however, that Islamabad was worried about the repercussions of an all-out rupture between the US and China, which would present Pakistan with an unpalatably binary strategic choice.

“We are highly threatened by this notion of splitting the world into two blocs,” she said.

“We are very concerned about this decoupling … Anything that splits the world further.”

In his response to the question, the State Department spokesperson said, “The United States does not ask Pakistan or any other country to choose between the United States and the PRC (People’s Republic of China) or to choose between the United States and any other country.”

“Our relations with Pakistan build on our close People to People ties and we will continue to seek ways to expand our partnership and economic ties,” he said. “Our economic cooperation with Pakistan reflects our vision for the region, as one comprised of nations that are independent, strong and prosperous, and our relationships are based on a spirit of respect and partnership.”

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