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Counter-terrorism on agenda for Donald Trump-Imran Khan talks on July 22

By PTI
|

Washington, July 10: US President Donald Trump will meet with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in Washington DC on July 22 and the two leaders would discuss a range of issues, including counter-terrorism, defense, energy, and trade, the White House said on Wednesday.

President Trump will welcome Prime Minister Khan to the White House on July 22, it said in a brief statement.

Donald Trump and Imran Khan

The visit will focus on strengthening cooperation between the US and Pakistan to bring peace, stability, and economic prosperity to a region that has seen far too much conflict, it said.

"President Trump and Prime Minister Khan will discuss a range of issues, including counterterrorism, defense, energy, and trade, with the goal of creating the conditions for a peaceful South Asia and an enduring partnership between our two countries," the statement added.

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The statement came hours after the State Department said that the White House is yet to confirm "reports" of the meeting between the two leaders, in a diplomatic embarrassment to Islamabad after it announced the premier's first visit to America.

Prime Minister Khan will make his maiden trip to the United States on the invitation of President Trump, Foreign Office Spokesperson Muhammad Faisal announced during his weekly press conference in Islamabad on June 4.

Asked to comment on Khan's schedule in Washington, state department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus told journalists on Wednesday that she would reach out to the White House to confirm or not confirm the visit.

"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," Ortagus earlier said.

Soon after her comments, Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman Faisal tweeted that, "We wish to caution against speculation about PM's visit.

"We are in close contact with the U.S. side. As per practice, formal announcements are made at the appropriate time," he said.

Meanwhile, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Zulfikar Bukhari said that Khan will visit the US.

Bukhari said Khan will leave for the US on July 20. The US officials will announce about the meeting after completing the formalities, he was quoted as saying by Geo News.

The report noted that Faisal, during his weekly press meet had said that Prime Minister Khan was slated to meet President Trump on July 22 during his trip to Washington.

"At the invitation of US President Donald Trump, Prime Minister Imran Khan will visit Washington and hold a meeting with President Trump on July 22, 2019," Faisal had said.

He had said the agenda of the meeting between the two leaders was being developed through diplomatic channels, and that the focus would be to "refresh the bilateral relationship". The two leaders were expected to discuss bilateral relations between the two countries, regional issues and the Afghan peace process.

Khan was to be accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and other leaders during his visit to the US.

In September, Khan will travel to New York to represent Pakistan at the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). It would be his first UNGA session since he assumed office in August 2018.

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