Pakistan FM meets US National Security Advisor Robert O’ Brien

WASHINGTON: The Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi met the US National Security Advisor Robert O’ Brien at the White House in Washington, and discussed bilateral relations and challenges in South Asia and the Middle East.

This was their first meeting since O’ Brien’s appointment as the US National Security Advisor in September 2019.

The foreign minister said that Prime Minister Imran Khan and the US President Donald Trump had last year articulated a shared vision for a broad-based and enduring partnership between Pakistan and the United States. He said that the expansion of bilateral economic and trade ties was key to realizing that vision.

Qureshi also apprised the US national security advisor about Pakistan’s efforts for peace and stability in the region. He informed Robert O’ Brien about his recent diplomatic outreach in the Gulf region, and underscored Pakistan’s desire to defuse tensions. He emphasized the need for de-escalation and dialogue. He conveyed Pakistan’s concern that instability in the Middle East would affect the neighborhood and the global economy. He underscored Pakistan’s willingness to play its role for peace in the region.

The foreign minister also briefed the adviser on the grave human rights situation in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K), which had worsened since India imposed a complete blockade on the region in August 2019.

Recalling President Trump’s willingness to mediate the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, the foreign minister said that the United States should urge India to end its lockdown in the occupied territories, desist from escalation along the Line of Control, implement UN Security Council resolutions on Kashmir, and let Kashmiris exercise their right to self-determination.

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The foreign minister reaffirmed Pakistan’s support for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.

Robert O’ Brien appreciated Pakistan’s efforts for maintaining peace in the Middle East and South Asia. He also acknowledged Pakistan’s contribution to efforts for achieving a peaceful political settlement in Afghanistan.