Pakistan

Trump’s team confirms “productive” not flowery chat with PM Sharif

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NEW YORK: After all the confusion and media debate over Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s “candid and flowery conversation” with the United States President-elect Donald J. Trump, the latter’s transition team confirmed a “productive talk” between the two leaders.

“President-elect Trump and the Prime Minister of Pakistan Muhammad Nawaz Sharif spoke today and had a productive conversation about how the United States and Pakistan will have a strong working relationship in the future,” said Trump’s transition team in a readout of the controversial call.

Readout of phone call with PM Nawaz Sharif:

President-elect Trump and the Prime Minister of Pakistan Muhammad Nawaz Sharif spoke today and had a productive conversation about how the United States and Pakistan will have a strong working relationship in the future.  President-elect Trump also noted that he is looking forward to a lasting and strong personal relationship with Prime Minister Sharif.

“President-elect Trump also noted that he is looking forward to a lasting and strong personal relationship with Prime Minister Sharif,” the statement added.

As Trump’s transition team said the chat happened, the US State Department, on the other hand, had no prior knowledge about the phone call.

Commenting on a question that the White House suggested State may have briefed President-elect Trump before his call to Pakistan to Nawaz Sharif, Deputy Spokesperson US State Department Mark C. Toner during a daily press briefing on Thursday said, “Not to my knowledge, no. We had no discussion with President-elect Trump prior to that call.”


Must Read: Trump’s praise for PM Sharif puzzles foreign media


Islamabad said Trump praised Prime Minister Sharif as a “terrific guy” and offered support for a “fantastic” country, in an effusive phone call that baffled many after sharp criticisms in the past.

The government released the candid account, complete with Trump’s trademark language, after PM Sharif phoned the billionaire real estate mogul to congratulate him on his election victory.

The widely-circulated statement released later on Wednesday caused surprise given the anti-Muslim rhetoric of the Trump campaign and the president-elect’s past description of Pakistan as “not our friend”.

Trump has long been disdainful of Pakistan on social media.

On January 17, 2012, he tweeted: “Get it straight: Pakistan is not our friend. We’ve given them billions and billions of dollars, and what did we get? Betrayal and disrespect — and much worse. #TimeToGetTough”

Pakistanis have also been suspicious of his relationship with arch-rival India.

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