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PM Abbasi visiting US in September

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  • Analysts say Pakistani posturing’ is over, now business as usual

 

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will visit the United States of America in the third week of September to attend the United Nations General Assembly session in New York, sources said on Monday. He will be accompanied by Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif.

Analysts said now that the “posturing” was over, plans for the PM’s trip to the US would go ahead as usual.

PM Abbasi is expected to meet US officials on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly’s session during his maiden trip to the US as Prime Minister.

The visit will come amid tense relations between the two countries following the announcement by President Donald Trump of his new policy for South Asia, which was critical of Pakistan.

Pakistan on Sunday postponed a visit by Acting US Assistant Secretary of State Alice Wells, as small protests broke out against President Donald Trump’s accusations that Islamabad was still not “coming clean” on it’s involvement in Afghanistan.

The visit by Ms Wells, scheduled for Monday, would have been the first high-profile visit by a US official since Trump’s Afghan policy speech on August 21.

“At the request of the Government of Pakistan, Acting Assistant Secretary Wells’ trip has been postponed until a mutually convenient time,” a US Embassy spokesperson said on Sunday. Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry on its part released a similar statement.

Trump accused Pakistan of harbouring “agents of chaos” and providing safe havens to militant groups. Pakistani officials responded by saying the US should not “scapegoat” Pakistan and accused the US military of failing to eliminate militant sanctuaries inside Afghanistan.

Earlier, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif postponed his US visit following these accusations by Donald Trump.

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