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Tillerson embarking on diplomatic mission to South Asia, Middle East today

WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is embarking Friday on a week-long trip that will take him to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Pakistan, India and Switzerland.

Briefing the newsmen in Washington today, Spokesperson for the US State Department Heather Nauert said that Rex Tillerson, during his week-long visit, will go to Pakistan, India, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Geneva.

During his visit to Islamabad, the US Secretary of State will meet senior leaders to discuss bilateral cooperation, Pakistan’s critical role in the success of US South Asia strategy, and the expanding economic ties between the two countries.

In the Middle East, Tillerson will discuss the conflict with Yemen, Iran, and the ongoing dispute with Qatar, among other issues, the department had said earlier this week, adding that in Geneva, he will meet several international organizations to discuss refugees.

The Spokesperson said that Rex Tillerson will build on the positive conversations which he and the Vice President Mike Pence have had with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

Earlier on Wednesday, the US Vice President had telephoned Abbasi and thanked the government, the Pakistan army and intelligence agencies for rescuing a US-Canadian couple from the clutches of  militants.

A US national Caitlin Coleman, her Canadian husband Joshua Boyle and their three children were recovered from terrorists’ custody earlier this week.

The US Vice President reaffirmed the importance of bilateral relations and said that the US would like to further build this relationship for peace and prosperity of the region.

Reaffirming Pakistan’s resolve to eliminate terrorism from its soil, the Prime Minister assured the US Vice President that Pakistan would respond to any actionable intelligence shared by the US side.

The two leaders agreed to maintain high level engagements to strengthen cooperation in areas of mutual interest.

Pence had also accepted the invitation of the Prime Minister to visit Pakistan in the near future.



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