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US State Secretary congratulates PM Shehbaz on election

Antony Blinken says US considers a strong, prospering, and democratic Pakistan as essential to interests of both countries

US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken on Wednesday offered congratulations to the newly-elected Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, promising to carry on the long-standing cooperation with Pakistan’s government.

Shehbaz was elected the 23rd prime minister of Pakistan on Monday after the National Assembly voted out Imran Khan from office via a no-confidence vote last week.

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In a statement issued last night, Blinken stated that Pakistan had been an important partner of the US on various mutual interests for the past 75 years. “The United States views a strong, prosperous and democratic Pakistan as essential for the interests of both countries,” he added.

In response, the Prime Minister’s Office reiterated the need for cooperation with United States. “The new government wishes to constructively and positively engage with the US to promote shared goals of peace, security and development in the region,” it tweeted.

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Blinken’s message comes a day after Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby stated that the US enjoys a “healthy military-to-military relationship with Pakistani armed forces”, adding that “we have every expectation that will be able to continue to be the case”.

“We recognize that Pakistan plays a key role in the region. We recognize that Pakistan and the Pakistani people are, themselves, victims of terrorist attacks inside their own country,” he added.

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