Pakistan postpones Asif’s meeting with Tillerson

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has turned down a request for a meeting of US Secretary Of State Rex Tillerson with Foreign Minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif on the sidelines of the United Nations general Assembly (UNGA), informing the state department that the meeting would soon be scheduled once the country finalises its policy review process.

A well-placed source told Pakistan Today that the US had sought a meeting with the foreign minister with Rex Tillerson but Pakistan has asked for delay.

“The government has decided to put the results of the interactive meeting with US Vice President Mike Pence with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in the national system especially the National Security Committee (NSC). Once the committee reviews the proceeds and comes up with a conclusion, the meeting would be scheduled,” the source said.

The source said that the government had also sent the parliamentary recommendations on relations with US to US Ambassador David Hale to inform the US government on the deliberations being made inside Pakistan.

Asked about the tone of the US vice president during the meeting with prime minister, the source said that the tone of the US vice president was reconciliatory.

“Pence said that US wanted reconciliation as a way forward,” the source said. The source added that the US officials were also informed on the concerns of Pakistan.

“During the meeting between Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua and Lisa Curtis, the US advisor on South Asian affairs, about the rising temperature in Pakistan over the speech of US President Donald Trump, the US official was asked how the recommendations made in her joint paper with Husain Haqqani had been incorporated in Trump’s speech to target Pakistan,” the source asserted.

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