WASHINGTON: Sherry Rehman held her first meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington as Pakistan’s ambassador designate to the United States, in Washington on Wednesday. The meeting between the two leaders comes at a time when Pakistan-US relations are at an all-time low.
A State Department statement released following the meeting said that “the Secretary was pleased to welcome Pakistan’s appointed Ambassador, Sherry Rehman, to Washington today. They discussed the importance of our two countries recommitting to working together on areas of common interest. The Department looks forward to further interactions with the appointed ambassador after she presents her credentials at the White House.”
According to a spokesperson of the Pakistan Embassy, the two discussed US-Pakistan relations. The spokesperson added that the Pakistan Embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission Iffat Gardezi and Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Marc Grossman also attended the meeting.
Sherry Rehman, who replaced Husain Haqqani as Pakistan’s ambassador to the US, will meet President Obama on January 18 to present her credentials as ambassador. On Wednesday, Rehman met with the State Department’s Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman to present her credentials.
Earlier, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said that the meeting between Secretary Clinton and Ambassador Rehman would be an opportunity to continue the dialogue with the Government of Pakistan “about the important issues that we’ve got to tackle together about getting our relationship back on track in all of its elements in the new year.”
Earlier, Nuland, during her daily briefings, said that that Secretary Clinton and Rehman could also discuss the political situation in Pakistan, in particular Rehman’s predecessor, Husain Haqqani. “I would guess that she probably will make some of the same points that you’ve heard us make here, that we expect him to be treated in a manner that is consistent with the Pakistani constitution, with international standards of jurisprudence. She may also make clear we expect him to be safe and secure during this process.”