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US Looking At New Friends, Pak Has Also Options: Qureshi 

Washington (September 29, 2018): Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that the United States (US) is looking at new friends in the region.

In a TV interview, Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that Pakistan does hope to be friends with the US while exercising its option to cultivate relations with China and other states.

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The foreign minister said that the other states recognise how important and how strategically located Pakistan is. “So, we are not alone and everyone has options,” he said.

Qureshi said, “We want the US to be friends with Pakistan. We recognise that the US is an important global power, and they will continue to be a military, technological and economic power in the foreseeable future.”He added, “they (US) are looking at different options, they are looking at new friends in the region. We do have friends who have been consistent and very valuable. China is one of them.”

On the question of bilateral relations with India, the foreign minister said that war is no option between the nuclear-armed states.“Two neighbours with outstanding issues, atomic powers. How do you fix things? War is no option. There is no military solution. The only solution is a dialogue,” he said.

Qureshi said that the Pakistani state policy towards India is on the lines of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s first public address on July 26th, in which he said, “You take one step towards peace, we will take two.”

Earlier on September 28, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi attended  South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation’s (SAARC) meeting on the sidelines of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session in New York.While addressing the forum, the Foreign Minister had stressed the need to move forward in a positive direction to achieve something substantial from the platform.

Qureshi also expressed displeasure over India’s non-serious attitude, saying that India’s hostile behaviour is obstructing the progress of the entire region, and is contrary to the very purpose of the association.

The FM  added that his Indian counterpart had left during the session with the words of enhancing regional cooperation.

It is pertinent to mention here that Pak-India foreign ministers avoided to shake hands during the session.Nepal’s Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali hosted lunch for the participants of SAARC Council Of Ministers meeting.

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