US Vice President Mike Pence today had an “important conversation” with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on the recently announced South Asia strategy of the US President Donald Trump, the White House said. The two leaders met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly session here.
“The Vice President and Prime Minister Abbasi had an important conversation about the President’s South Asia strategy that was announced late last month,” the White House said in a readout of the meeting between the two leaders.
During the meeting, Pence highlighted ways that Pakistan could work with the United States and others to bolster stability and prosperity for all in South Asia. Pence reiterated President Trump’s belief that “Pakistan has much to gain from partnering with our effort” in the region, the White House said.
In the meeting Pence told Abbasi that Trump recently articulated America’s renewed strategy in South Asia. “We value our relationship with Pakistan, a long-term partnership for security in the region. And we look forward to exploring ways that we can work even more closely with Pakistan and with your government to advance security throughout the region,” he said.
Abbasi thanked Pence for the invitation to meet. He said Pakistan intended to continue efforts to “eliminate terrorism.” He said Pakistan contributed to a “very difficult war,” suffered casualties and economic losses.
In a fact sheet, the White House said that the President outlined a new Afghanistan strategy to ensure that country cannot be used as a terrorist base to threaten the US by establishing a plan for Afghanistan that is based on conditions on the ground, not an artificial timeline, and pressing Pakistan for greater cooperation in countering all forms of terrorism and enhancing global and regional stability.
Trump has authorised an increase in strikes against terrorist groups that threaten the American people, including Al-Shabaab in Somalia, Al-Qaeda’s largest affiliate. Abbasi arrived in New York a day earlier to attend the annual General Assembly sessions of the United Nations.