Wednesday, July 12, 2023
Web Desk

Not asking Pakistan to choose between US and China: State Dept

"We welcome the progress that has been made between the IMF and Pakistan," says Matthew Miller

Web Desk
State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller. — State Dept website
State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller. — State Dept website 

  • US welcomes Pakistan-IMF deal on bailout package.
  • State Dept says US will continue to support Pakistan.
  • "Ties with Pakistan based on close people-to-people ties."

WASHINGTON: The State Department on Wednesday maintained that Pakistan is not being pressured to pick sides between US and China and that relations with Islamabad “build on our close people-to-people ties”.

State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller was asked during a press briefing about Pakistan’s minister of state for foreign affairs, Hina Rabbani Khar’s statement that Islamabad had no appetite to pick a fight in the growing global rivalry between Washington and Beijing.

“No, the United States does not ask Pakistan or any other country to choose between the United States and the PRC [People's Republic of China] or to choose between the United States and any other country,” the spokesperson said.

Miller said that relations with Pakistan are based on close people-to-people ties, and the US will continue to seek ways to expand its partnership and economic ties with the South Asian nation.

“Our economic cooperation with Pakistan reflects our vision for the region as one of — comprised of nations that are independent, strong, and prosperous. And our relationships are based on a spirit of respect and partnership.”

US welcomes Pak-IMF deal

The spokesperson also commented about the recently concluded staff-level agreement between Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on a $3 billion bailout package.

The State Department official didn’t deny the reports that the US played a key role in helping Pakistan to secure the deal.

“What I would say is that we stand by the Pakistani people during these difficult times. We welcome the progress that has been made between the IMF and Pakistan in having reached a staff-level agreement,” he replied and vowed to continue supporting Islamabad.

“Our support for the country’s economic success is unwavering.”

The US will continue to engage with Pakistan through technical engagements and continue to strengthen its trade and investment ties, all of which are priorities for the bilateral relationship, he added.

“We believe Pakistan has a lot of hard work ahead to be on a long-term sustainable path to economic recovery and prosperity, but we will continue to stand by them through that process.”