Pakistan PM Shehbaz visits US embassy to celebrate 75 years of diplomatic ties

07:08 PM | 29 Sep, 2022
Pakistan PM Shehbaz visits US embassy to celebrate 75 years of diplomatic ties
Source: @uaeembassyisb (Twitter)
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ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday attended a ceremony organised by the US Embassy to mark the completion of the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Addressing the ceremony, the premier vowed to strengthen the bilateral ties between Islamabad and Washington.

At the outset of the event, participants observed one-minute silent to show solidarity with flood-hit people of Pakistan.

PM Shehbaz Sharif also held a meeting with US Ambassador Donald Blome to discuss the matters of mutual interest.

Blome in a statement said: “Our 75-year partnership is visible throughout Pakistan. Decades of assistance supported construction of schools, hospitals & highways”.

“Pakistanis studied in the US & returned to key roles in business & government. We are one of the largest sources of foreign investment.”

"There's also a long history of humanitarian work that binds our countries. We’ve given $66M+ in flood assistance so far, including $10M recently announced by @SecBlinken. We're doing what friends & partners do – support each other when it is most needed," the US ambassador said.  

"Given our long history of cooperation & shared ambitions, this reframed relationship is more urgent & valuable than ever. As we look forward to the next 75 years & beyond, I hope you will join me in opening this new door." 

Earlier, Ambassador Donald Blome visited Lahore during September 25-29 to continue to promote the U.S.-Pakistan bilateral partnership in trade, economics, commerce, education, and culture and to meet the people in Lahore and Punjab, the heart of Pakistan.  

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During his visit, Ambassador Blome met with the Punjab Governor, Chief Minister, and academic, business, cultural, and civil society representatives.  

The Ambassador visited several cultural sites, including Badshahi Mosque, Wazir Khan Chowk, and Wagah Border.  Ambassador Blome highlighted that the U.S. has contributed $4.2 million to cultural conservation in Punjab, which has worked with local partners to help preserve many cultural landmarks such as Wazir Khan Chowk.

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In meetings with business leaders, journalists, and women entrepreneurs in Lahore, Ambassador Blome emphasized that the United States values its long-standing cooperation with Pakistan and views a strong, prosperous, and democratic Pakistan as critical to U.S. interests.  As this year marks 75 years of U.S.-Pakistan bilateral relations, Ambassador Blome underscored that the “U.S.-Pakistan relationship, a partnership based on shared interests, common goals, and a long tradition of people-to-people exchange, continues to endure.”  

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During his visit, Ambassador Blome touted the economic relationship between the United States and Pakistan, “The United States bilateral commercial relationship with Pakistan is a vehicle for growing both of our economies. The United States is Pakistan’s largest export market, and one of its largest investors.”  The United States has been a leading investor in Pakistan for the past 20 years.  In the past fiscal year alone, U.S. investment in Pakistan increased by over 50 percent, reaching its highest level in a decade. 

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One of the great economic success stories of the US-Pakistan partnership is the relationship between U.S. cotton and Pakistani cloth – and this success is centered in Punjab.  

In 2021 the two-way trade in cotton and textiles was $5.3 billion.  That is more than half of the $8.9 billion trade between our nations, and 55 percent of Pakistan’s spinning and textile manufacturing capacity is located in Punjab.  

The United States exported $700 million in cotton to Pakistan, whose weavers turned around and sent $4.6 billion in textiles back to the United States.  This two-way trade keeps growing.  

During the first six months of 2022, the value of U.S. cotton exports to Pakistan was up 37 percent compared to last year, and the value of Pakistan textile exports to the US was up 26 percent.  Ambassador Blome had the opportunity to discuss our economic collaboration with US and Pakistani business leaders as he toured Lahore’s Six Sigma Apparel Factory, which exports to companies like Urban Outfitters in the United States.

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The United States has continued to support Pakistani prosperity in many other ways.  

Over the past 75 years, the United States has funded more than 14,000 Pakistanis to study in the United States and more than 22,000 young Pakistanis have participated in our English language programs.  

The partnership also encompasses the more than 77 million COVID-19 vaccine doses the United States has committed to Pakistan, including 16 million pediatric vaccines.   

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Ambassador Blome also shared his deep condolences over the severe floods throughout Pakistan.  He reiterated that the United States remains steadfast in its support for affected communities throughout Pakistan. He also pledged that with the more than $66 million dollars in support, the United States will work with local partners and Pakistani authorities to provide urgently needed food support, safe water, sanitation and hygiene improvements, financial help, and shelter assistance.