US President Trump welcomes Pakistan PM Imran Khan to White House

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump on Monday warmly welcomed Prime Minister Imran Khan to the White House, with a guard of honour and a large number of Pakistani-Americans outside.

Khan’s first visit to the White House since taking power may potentially improve the bilateral ties between the strategic allies, according to the Trump administration.

The visit, the Trump administration added, would create a stable partnership between the two countries and strengthen ties.

According to the White House, the two leaders would focus on the strengthening of cooperation between Washington and Islamabad to bring peace, stability, and economic prosperity to a region that has seen far too much conflict.

The two leaders would discuss several issues during their meeting, including “counterterrorism, defence, energy, and trade, with the goal of creating the conditions for a peaceful South Asia and an enduring partnership between our two countries.

COAS to accompany PM Imran during meeting

Speaking at the Pakistani Embassy in Washington, Major General Asif Ghafoor, the director-general of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), confirmed that Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Bajwa would accompany PM Imran during the meeting with Trump at the White House.

Maj Gen Ghafoor told the media that the Army Chief would also visit the Pentagon to have interaction with US military leadership.

He said Pakistan’s internal security situation was far better and that the nation’s sacrifices, as well as those of the security forces, were yielding results. The border control had also improved following security fencing raised at the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, the spokesperson noted, adding that it would help reduce terrorism-related incidents.

The security forces’ primary focus, now, was the development of Balochistan and re-structuring terrorism-affected areas in coordination with the civil administration.

DG ISPR further commended the role of media in highlighting a positive image of the country abroad.

Earlier, upon his arrival in Washington for the first-ever, three-day visit to the US, Khan was given a warm welcome by senior officials of the US Department of State. He was accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood, Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razzaq Dawood, and Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US, Dr Asad Majeed Khan.

When the premier reached the Embassy Residence, he was given a glorious welcome, with the Pakistani community and fans playing the dhol. Khan will be staying in Pakistan House.

The PM has a tight schedule in the US capital today as he would be meeting the IMF’s interim managing director, World Bank President David Malpass, and the Pakistani-American business community.

Khan is also set to participate in the Pakistan Business Summit, where he would be giving an address as well.

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