WASHINGTON DC: The United States on Thursday said it stands by an earlier readout of the phone call between Prime Minister Imran Khan and US Secretary of State Micheal Pompeo after Pakistan termed the US statement as “factually incorrect”.
“We stand by our readout,” said State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert during her weekly press briefing. Nauert, terming the contact as a good call, said Pompeo had “expressed his willingness to work with the new government toward a productive bilateral relationship”.
“It may surprise some of you, but they had a good call. Pakistan is an important partner to the US. We hope to forge a good, productive working relationship with the new civilian government. My understanding is that the beginning of the call or the call itself was a good call and a good discussion toward our working with the new government and the new administration.”
The Foreign Office had refuted US State Department’s press release detailing the phone call.
“Pakistan takes exception to the factually incorrect statement issued by the US State Department on today’s phone call between PM Khan & Secretary Pompeo,” Foreign Officer Spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal said in a tweet. “There was no mention at all in the conversation about terrorists operating in Pakistan. This should be immediately corrected.”
The rebuttal came immediately after Nauert said in a statement: “Secretary Pompeo raised the importance of Pakistan taking decisive action against all terrorists operating in Pakistan and its vital role in promoting the Afghan peace process.”
During the hotline contact, the secretary of state had also raised the importance of Pakistan’s vital role in promoting the Afghan peace process.
Premier Imran had emphasised the importance of strengthening bilateral relations on the basis of mutual trust and benefit and underscored the importance of peace and stability in the region.