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Donald Blome takes oath as US envoy to Pakistan

Senior diplomat appointed by Biden admin after completion of US Chargé d’ Affairs Aggeler’s tenure

Senior diplomat Donald Armin Blome on Thursday took oath as new US envoy to Pakistan and is set to reach Islamabad soon.

“Honored to swear in Ambassador Donald A Blome as the US Ambassador to Pakistan. Ambassador Blome is a stellar choice to build upon 75 years of US-Pakistan relations,” Deputy US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman wrote on Twitter.

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She also thanked the US Senate “for his confirmation to this important post”.

On March 3, the US Senate finally approved Ambassador Blome, a career diplomat, as envoy to Islamabad. He is expected to arrive in Islamabad on May 23 to take charge of his new position.

Blome, who is said to be fluent in Arabic, was earlier posted as the US Charge d’affaires at the Libyan Foreign Office in Tunis. He also worked as the Consul General at the US Consulate in Jerusalem, and the Director of the Office of Arabian Peninsula Affairs at the US State Department.

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Blome has also served as Political Counsel at the US Embassy in Afghanistan, and the Minister-Consultant for Economic and Political Affairs at the US Embassy in Cairo.

The US State Department, following the approval of Ambassador Blome, said in a statement that the partnership with Pakistan was a “key to progress on regional security, trade, investment, the climate crisis and human rights”.

Blome will be the first full-time ambassador to Pakistan since August 2018 when American envoy David Hale returned home after completing his term.

After that, former US President Donald Trump’s administration did not appoint a full-time envoy to Islamabad.

This happened despite ties between the two countries improving thanks to the personal bonhomie between Trump and former premier Imran.

The appointment of Blome as US ambassador to Pakistan comes at a time when the two sides are seeking a reset in their troubled relationship.

The US exit from Afghanistan has raised serious questions about the future of ties between the two countries as one of the top American diplomats said Washington did not see itself building a broad-based relationship with Islamabad.

Despite efforts by the former PTI government seeking broad-based ties with Washington, US President Joe Biden’s administration never responded positively.

Earlier, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari reiterated to further strengthen Pak-US relations. He was talking to US Chargé d’ Affaires Angele Aggeler, who paid a farewell call on him in Islamabad.

The foreign minister invited the US companies to invest in Pakistan. He thanked the United States for announcing 64 million Covid vaccines for Pakistan.

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