PM Abbasi holds ‘positive’ but brief meeting with Trump
GENEVA: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had a brief meeting with US President Donald Trump at a reception the US leader hosted for the world leaders attending the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly.
The Prime Minister disclosed this at a luncheon meeting with the US Pakistan Business Council in New York on Wednesday.
The interaction with President Trump took place after his 45-minute long meeting with US Vice President Mike Pence, during which the two leaders had talks on bilateral issues and the Afghan situation, reported the state-run wire service.
“President Trump was very positive about Pakistan,” the Prime Minister told the American businessmen and investors.
He said he told President Trump that Pakistan was committed to fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.
Prime Minister Abbasi later told the Council for Foreign Relations that “Pakistan wants to move forward and remain engaged with the United States.”
The White House, in a statement, said,” The Vice President and Prime Minister Abbasi had an important conversation about the President’s South Asia strategy that was announced late last month.”
According to the statement, the Vice President reiterated President Trump’s belief that “Pakistan has much to gain from partnering with our effort” in the region.
When a journalist asked Mr. Abbasi if he was willing to accommodate President Trump’s demand for Pakistan to do more, he said: “It’s a relationship that goes beyond Afghanistan. It’s 70 years old, and we view it in that context. And we are engaged today. We want this relationship to move forward. And I don’t see any obstacles in that process,” he added.
In his hard-hitting address on August 22, US President Donald Trump cleared the way for the deployment of thousands more US troops to Afghanistan, backtracking from his promise to rapidly end America’s longest war, while criticising ally Pakistan for offering safe haven to “agents of chaos.”
Trump indicated that single-minded approach would extend to US relations with troubled ally Pakistan, which consecutive US administrations have criticized for links with the Taliban and for harboring leading militants.
“We can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organizations,” he said warning that vital aid could be cut.
“We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting,” he said. “That will have to change and that will change immediately.”