US congratulates PM Shehbaz Sharif, calls Pakistan ‘important partner’

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WASHINGTON, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken congratulated Pakistan’s new Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who took office after the ouster of Imran Khan in a no-confidence vote in the National Assembly.

In a statement, the top US diplomat hailed Pakistan as “an important partner on wide-ranging mutual interests for nearly 75 years” and said the US values their relationship.

“The United States congratulates newly elected Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and we look forward to continuing our long-standing cooperation with Pakistan’s government,” Blinken said.

“The United States views a strong, prosperous, and democratic Pakistan as essential for the interests of both of our countries,” he added.

On Tuesday, the Pentagon said that the US has a “healthy military-to-military relationship” with Pakistani armed forces and it expects to continue that relationship under Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

Pentagon Spokesman John Kirby said that the US has shared interests with Pakistan with respect to security and stability in “that part of the world”.

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