Pak, US NSAs meet in Geneva for crucial talks

Meeting seen as significant against backdrop of current Afghan situation


Kamran Yousaf May 24, 2021
National Security Adviser Dr Moeed Yousuf. PHOTO COURTESY: USIP

ISLAMABAD:

The national security advisors (NSAs) of Pakistan and the United States met in Geneva on Sunday in a first high-level face-to-face contact since the Biden administration took charge.

“The national security advisers of Pakistan and the United States of America met in Geneva yesterday. Both sides had a positive conversation on a range of bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest and agreed to advance practical cooperation on these issues,” read a joint statement issued by the office of NSA and White House on Monday.

The meeting between Pakistani NSA Dr Moeed Yusuf and his US counterpart Jake Sullivan is being seen as significant against the backdrop of the current Afghan situation, that observers believe will determine the future of Pak-US cooperation.

The two sides are tight-lipped over the meeting and there has been no explanation as yet on why they opted for a third country for the meeting.

However, diplomatic sources said that a joint statement of the meeting is likely to be issued later today (Monday).

Read: Post-US Afghan pullout: Need for joint Pak-Iran strategy stressed

Moeed was only last week appointed as the NSA by the government, that had abolished the office after coming into power.

The meeting appears to be necessitated by the current situation in Afghanistan where there is a stalemate after little progress in the intra-Afghan talks.

The US troops withdrawal has threatened further instability, and Washington, along with other regional countries, is keen to seek a political deal before the last US soldier leaves the war-ravaged country by September 11.

In addition to bringing peace in Afghanistan, an improvement in the overall bilateral relationship is also a priority for Pakistan.

It is believed that the NSA went to Geneva with a brief envisaging the country’s plan on how to expand ties with the US beyond Afghanistan.

Pakistan is keen that its relationship with the US is not security driven and Washington must not look Islamabad through the same lens it views China or India.

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