WASHINGTON: State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland says the US “wants to hear the Pakistani government’s presentation of where it thinks the bilateral relationship needs to go,” before the US offers its reaction to the parliamentary review and both sides can work towards a mutually agreed framework.
Speaking to reporters at the daily press briefing, Nuland said that once the Pakistan government puts forward its expectations, the US “will present our views and work through the issues, as partners do.”
In response to a question on Pakistan’s recent missile test, she said that they urged all nuclear-capable states to exercise restraint regarding nuclear and missile capabilities. “The Pakistanis have said it wasn’t a direct response to the Indian test. But what’s most important is that they do seem to have taken steps to inform the Indians, and we, as you know, are quite intent on those two countries continuing to work together and improve their dialogue,” said the State Department spokesperson.
On the subject of the US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Ambassador Marc Grossman’s visit to Pakistan, who arrived in Islamabad on Wednesday night, Nuland said, “I think he’s open to working through the results of the parliamentary review with the Pakistani government. I don’t want to prejudge or pre-empt how those conversations will go or what agenda the Pakistani side will bring. But as we said, we had been waiting for that review to be concluded before we could fully re-engage. So this is our opportunity to do that.”
She added that this was a bilateral consultation about how both countries can improve their relationship “along all of the lines that have been difficult.”
According to a transcript of the daily press briefing, when asked about whether Grossman had the authorisation to discuss matters such as drone strikes, Nuland refused to comment, saying she would not comment on the n word [aka negotiation], instructions for the special representative or discuss intelligence matters.