Blinken, Bilawal meet, hold talks on strengthening ties

Published on May 19, 2022 05:39 AM IST

Bilawal is on a maiden visit to the US at the invitation of Blinken to attend the ministerial meeting on the “Global Food Security Call to Action” to be held at the United Nations later on Wednesday.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (R) meets with Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari at United Nations headquarters in New York.(AFP)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (R) meets with Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari at United Nations headquarters in New York.(AFP)
Agencies |

US secretary of state Antony Blinken on Wednesday met Pakistan’s foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari at the UN headquarters and their talks focussed on regional security as well as strengthening bilateral economic and commercial ties.

Bilawal is on a maiden visit to the US at the invitation of Blinken to attend the ministerial meeting on the “Global Food Security Call to Action” to be held at the United Nations later on Wednesday. The US is president of the UN Security Council for the month of May and Blinken is in New York to convene meetings to mobilise action on global food security.

In his remarks before his meeting with Bilawal, the first face-to-face interaction between the two ministers, Blinken said Washington is “very pleased” to be working with the foreign minister and with a new government in Pakistan.

“We’re both here, of course, first and foremost for the ministerial meeting we’re having a little bit later today on food security. This is a challenge that we’re seeing around the world. There was a pre-existing condition, as it were, when it comes to food insecurity in many places. It’s been exacerbated dramatically by Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, adding another 40 million people to those who are food insecure,” he said.

Pak Taliban extend truce

The Pakistani Taliban on Wednesday said they are extending a ceasefire with the government until May 30, after the two sides held an initial round of talks hosted by the Afghan Taliban in neighbouring Afghanistan.

Talks begin with IMF

Talks between Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) began on Wednesday to resurrect an enhanced bailout package to support the sagging economy of the cash-strapped country.

Pakistan has repeatedly been seeking international aid to support its failing economy.

The talks are being held in the Qatari capital Doha, the finance ministry tweeted. The negotiations are expected to continue into next week, it said.

Meanwhile, the Pakistani government on Wednesday decided to impose a ban on the import of non-essential and luxury items as the cash-strapped nation tried to avert a financial meltdown amid depleting foreign reserves, according to a media report.

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