ISLAMABAD: The United States is interested in Prime Minister Imran Khan's reform agenda and was ready to turn a new page with his government, the outgoing Amercian Ambassador to Pakistan David Hale said today.
Hale, who has been appointed as the next under secretary of state for political affairs by US President Donald Trump, paid a farewell visit to Prime Minister Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.
The bilateral relations between the US and Pakistan deteriorated after the Trump administration slashed military aid to the country this year accusing Islamabad of providing overt and covert support to the Afghan Taliban and other terror groups.
"Ambassador Hale paid a farewell call on Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs," a Foreign Ministry statement said.
"There was great interest in the Prime Minister's reform agenda in the United States, a readiness to turn the page, and this was the objective of Secretary Pompeo's visit to Pakistan," Hale, who has been serving as US Ambassador since 2015, told Qureshi.
The Foreign Minister underscored the importance of the longstanding relations with the US and said that he looked forward to welcoming Secretary Pompeo in Islamabad, the statement said.
Qureshi told ambassador Hale that his interactions with the US leadership would be based on honesty and sincerity so as to develop a sustained partnership in the interest of both countries.
The Foreign Minister thanked Hale for his services and congratulated him for his next assignment.
He expressed hope that someone who understands Pakistan and the region would be able to play a positive role in the strengthening of bilateral relations and work for the peace and prosperity of the region.
Ambassador Hale thanked the Foreign Minister and acknowledged his role in shepherding bilateral relations.
He also thanked the Foreign Ministry for the cooperation extended to him during his assignment in Pakistan.
Hale later met Prime Minister Imran Khan.
He also expected to make a farewell visit to the Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.