US ‘stands by’ its readout on Imran-Pompeo telephonic conversation

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US ‘stands by’ its readout on Imran-Pompeo telephonic conversation

WASHINGTON: US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert on Thursday said they stand by their readout on the phone call between Prime Minister Imran Khan and US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo.
“We stand by our readout,” Nauert said while responding to a question during her weekly press briefing.
“In the readout the secretary notes that he spoke with the new prime minister and expressed his willingness to work with the new government toward a productive bilateral relationship. They had a good call,” she said.
“That may surprise some of you, but they had a good call. Pakistan is an important partner to the United States. We hope to forge a good, productive working relationship with the new civilian government. My understanding is that the beginning of the call or the call itself was a good call and a good discussion toward our working with the new government and the new administration,” the US State Department spokesperson added.
A readout issued by the US State Department after the phone call had said: “Secretary Pompeo spoke today with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and wished him success. Secretary Pompeo expressed his willingness to work with the new government towards a productive bilateral relationship. Secretary Pompeo raised the importance of Pakistan taking decisive action against all terrorists operating in Pakistan and its vital role in promoting the Afghan peace process.”
However, Pakistan’s Foreign Office on Thursday had rejected the statement by the US State Department.
“Pakistan takes exception to the factually incorrect statement issued by US State Dept on today’s phone call between PM Khan & Sec Pompeo. There was no mention at all in the conversation about terrorists operating in Pakistan,” FO Spokespeson Dr Faisal tweeted.
He also asked the US to “immediately correct” the statement.
Pompeo is expected to visit Pakistan early next month to meet with the newly-elected PM Imran.
Pompeo, an official of the US President Donald Trump’s administration, will reportedly arrive in Islamabad on September 5 for a brief stay while en route to India.
Pompeo and PM Imran are likely to discuss bilateral relations and matters of mutual interest during their meeting before the former leaves for New Delhi on September 6.
It is also expected that Pompeo, who would become the first foreign diplomat to meet Pakistan’s new PM, may talk the Afghan peace process as well.
According to an international publication, “the Pompeo mission will also help Washington and New Delhi coordinate their objectives and mission in Afghanistan”

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