ISLAMABAD   -   The United States supports partner­ship with Pakistan, the US embassy said yesterday.

The US Department of State’s Coun­sellor Derek Chollet and a delega­tion of senior US government officials from the Department of State, De­partment of Defence, US Agency for International Development (USAID), and the White House National Securi­ty Council visited Islamabad and Ka­rachi on September 7-9.

They met senior government offi­cials, civil society members, and pri­vate sector leaders to commemorate 75 years of diplomatic relations be­tween the United States and Pakistan, highlight the importance of our bi­lateral partnership, and reaffirm our shared goals.

While in Pakistan, Counsel­lor Chollet discussed a wide range of issues including strengthening trade and in­vestment ties, cooperating to mitigate the impacts of the cli­mate crisis, advancing the bi­lateral health partnership, ex­panding our people-to-people connections, and conveying US solidarity with the Paki­stani people in addressing the humanitarian crisis caused by destructive flooding through­out the country.

“The United States and Paki­stan have a robust partnership based on decades of bilateral cooperation and support, and we look forward to strengthen­ing our relationship in trade, in­vestment, clean energy, health, security, education, and other shared priorities,” said Counsel­lor Chollet.

During his meetings, Coun­sellor Chollet offered condo­lences on behalf of the Unit­ed States on the devastation caused by widespread flooding in Pakistan and emphasised US sympathy and support for peo­ple who have lost loved ones, livelihoods, and homes.

In his meeting with For­eign Minister Bilawal Bhut­to Zardari, Counsellor Chol­let discussed the $53.1 million dollars in humanitarian assis­tance provided by the United States this year to support di­saster resilience and flood re­sponse, with $50.1 million for emergency flood relief in addi­tion to $3 million in program­ming provided earlier to bol­ster disaster resilience.

In Islamabad, Counsellor Chollet met with Prime Minis­ter Shehbaz Sharif to discuss strengthening the US-Pakistan bilateral relationship, includ­ing increased cooperation on trade and investment, climate, and health.

The Counsellor highlighted the strong bilateral health part­nership between the United States and Pakistan, particularly the U.S. commitment to donate more than 77 million Covid-19 vaccine doses to Pakistan.

Meeting with Army Chief Gen­eral Qamar Javed Bajwa, Coun­sellor Chollet discussed oppor­tunities for the United States to support Pakistan’s flood re­sponse and US-Pakistan securi­ty cooperation.

As an example of that co­operation, the Counsellor in­formed Pakistani leadership that the Department of State had formally notified Congress of a $450 million Foreign Mil­itary Sales case for sustain­ing Pakistan’s F-16 fleet. The investment would retain in­teroperability with U.S. and partner forces in ongoing counterterrorism efforts and in preparation for future con­tingency operations and sig­nifies enduring U.S.-Pakistani partnership.

While in Karachi, Counsellor Chollet met with the Chief Min­ister of Sindh to discuss oppor­tunities to expand US-Pakistan commercial partnerships and other shared priorities.

Counsellor Chollet empha­sized the depth of existing commercial ties between both the countries, noting that the bilateral trade reached nearly $9 billion in 2021, and that the United States is Pakistan’s larg­est single export market and one of its largest sources of for­eign investment, with US direct investment growing by 50 per­cent in the past year.

The US government is dedicat­ed to expanding the full range of trade, security, education, peo­ple-to-people, and clean energy and health-related cooperation and ties between the Pakistani and American people to pro­mote a more stable, secure, and prosperous future for both the nations, US embassy said.