Top U.S. diplomat Rex Tillerson likely to arrive in Pakistan on Tuesday: media

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ISLAMABAD, Oct. 23 – The U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is likely to pay a stopover visit to Pakistan on Tuesday to discuss joint efforts against terrorism and expanding economic ties between the two countries, local media reported Monday.

The visit of Tillerson is on invitation of Pakistani Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif, the Radio Pakistan said.

During his one-day tour, the U.S. secretary of state is expected to meet Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif and Chief of the Army Staff Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa.

“Pakistan-U.S. relations, stability in Afghanistan and regional security issues will be discussed during the meetings,” said local TV channel of Geo News, adding that U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis is also expected to visit Pakistan in December this year.

Tillerson started his week-long five-nation tour on Friday from Saudi Arabia that would also take him to India, Qatar and Switzerland.

Tillerson’s visit to Islamabad came after a three-day U.S. visit of his Pakistani counterpart earlier this month. Asif met high-ranking U.S. officials, discussing the Pak-U.S. relations and President Donald Trump’s new strategy for South Asia.

In September, Abbasi met with Trump and vice U.S. President Mike Pence during the United Nations General Assembly session. Both sides expressed resolve to stay engaged and carry forward bilateral relationship.

The relationship between the two countries was scratched following Trump’s tough stance against Pakistan in his policy for Afghanistan and South Asia in August. Islamabad has asked Washington not to make Pakistan scapegoat for its failure in Afghanistan.

(Copyright National News Agency / Xinhua, 2017)

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