Thursday, December 22, 2022
ISLAMABAD: Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zehra Baloch Thursday termed the reports of Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto’s arrest in New York a “lie” and “contrary to facts”.
Responding to a question during her weekly press briefing, the spokesperson rejected the news as fake and wondered over the query on the matter from a “serious” journalist.
She was asked to comment on it following certain social media reports claiming that Bilawal Bhutto has been arrested in New York during his visit.
The foreign minister is on an official visit which the Foreign Office termed as "very productive" and “another important step towards further strengthening Pakistan’s broad-based bilateral ties” with the US.
The spokesperson said that the primary purpose of FM Bilawal Bhutto’s visit was to attend the Ministerial Conference of the G-77 and China at the UN Headquarters in New York and to hold consultations for the “International Conference on Climate Resilient Pakistan” to be held next month in Geneva.
The foreign minister chaired the ministerial conference on 15-16 December 2022 which was convened by Pakistan in its capacity as the Chair of the G-77, the largest bloc of developing countries within the UN system.
“The foreign minister highlighted the need for a multilateral mechanism for sustainable management of the sovereign debt of developing countries and for lowering of borrowing costs for them,” she said.
The conference adopted a concrete outcome document spelling out the group’s strategy to address common challenges in achieving the SDGs in face of present challenges and building resilience to respond to future crises.
The foreign minister met with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on December 16 and discussed the International Conference on Climate Resilient Pakistan and international support for Pakistan’s long-term recovery, rehabilitation and restoration based on the Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA).
While briefing about the FM’s meetings in the US capital, Spokesperson Mumtaz Zehra Baloch said Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had a “very productive” visit to Washington DC.
She said that the foreign minister had a busy visit schedule which included engagements with the Biden Administration and members of the US Congress, speaking engagements at two prestigious think tanks, interaction with Pakistani-American community leaders and DC-based think-tank community as well as interviews with leading media outlets.
The main purpose of the visit to Washington, she added, was to continue discussions on Pakistan-US cooperation in flood relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts and enlist US support for the climate conference.
Baloch said the visit also provided an opportunity to review the entire scope of bilateral relations and discuss important regional and global developments.