WASHINGTON: US Department of State Counsellor Derek Chollet will arrive in Pakistan this week with an inter-agency delegation to reaffirm the US’ commitment to help Pakistan in dealing with the catastrophic floods.

The visits, first of its kind, which is taking place after a long gap, demonstrates the US interest in rebuilding ties with Pakistan. A statement issued by the state counsellor’s office stated that the five-day trip will start on Sept 5 from the United Arab Emirates.

In Pakistan, the delegation will meet senior government officials, civil society and private sector representatives, to discuss the recently announced $30million assistance by the US for flood relief.

The delegation includes State Department Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Elizabeth Horst, United States Agency for International Development Deputy Assistant Administrator Maria Longi, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence Rebecca Zimmerman, and National Security Council Director for Pakistan Courtenay Dunn.

In a separate development, a US Congressional delegation (CODEL), led by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee met Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in Islamabad.

The prime minister said Pakistan needed sustainable relations with the United States based on mutual respect and trust.

Despite having one of the lowest carbon emissions, Pakistan was facing the brunt of climate catastrophe, he added said.

Published in Dawn, September 6th, 2022

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