Visit of PM Imran Khan to US: Wait for formal announcement, says Pakistan Foreign Office

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal has urged the media and relevant circles to avoid speculation about Prime Minister’s Imran Khan upcoming visit to the United States, and also stated that they are in close contact with the US side on the matter.

It is pertinent to mention that the Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal on July 4 during weekly press briefing was asked a question that could he officially confirm the dates of visit of Prime Minister to US and he answered that at the invitation of US President Donald Trump, Prime Minister Imran Khan will visit Washington and hold a meeting with President Trump on 22nd July 2019. He added that the agenda of the meeting is (was) being developed through diplomatic channels. He stated that a detailed curtain raiser will be issued before the visit and the focus would be to refresh the bilateral relationship.

However, while addressing a press briefing on July 9, the US State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus didn’t confirm Imran Khan’s US visit, raising eyebrows about the communication gap between the two top Foreign Departments.

To my knowledge, that has actually not been confirmed by the White House. I know that I have read the same reports that you have, but I would reach out to the White House to confirm or not confirm that visit, but that’s – we don’t have anything to announce here from the State Department,” Morgan Ortagus said in reply to a question.

But in the meantime, Dr Faisal took to twitter and said “We wish to caution against speculation about PM’s visit.”

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Dr Mohammad Faisal also said that they are in close contact with the concerned authorities in the US. He said that as per practice, formal announcements are made at the appropriate time.

It is worth noting that in his weekly media briefing in Islamabad on July 4, Dr Faisal confirmed that Prime Minister Imran Khan would travel to Washington at the invitation of the US President Donald Trump, and hold a meeting with the Host on July 22.

Dr Faisal said that the agenda of the meeting is being developed through diplomatic channels. He said that the focus would be to refresh the bilateral relationship.

Briefing the media on Tuesday about the decisions taken in the Federal Cabinet meeting, the Minister for Federal Education Shafqat Mahmood also told that Prime Minister Imran Khan is visiting the United States in July 2019 on invitation of the US President Donald Trump.

Shafqat Mahmood also apprised that it has been decided that the prime minister will stay at the residence of Pakistani ambassador to the US to save costs whereas his diplomatic and security staff will stay at a three-star hotel.