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Pakistan: Prime Minister I. Khan Visits the US

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18.08.2019

There was an atmosphere of euphoria in Pakistan, and flattering epithets met Prime Minister Imran Khan during his official visit to Washington in July 2019. At the height of the trade war with China, tough economic sanctions and military threats in Iran, tense relations with Russia, the prevailing uncertainty in the negotiations with the Afghan Taliban, the US-Pakistani relations appeared to be an island of wellbeing in the region. The staged bilateral agreement of Washington and Islamabad was the result of a tough compromise where the national security interests of the two nuclear powers clashed. The first urged its former off-NATO ally to provide support in convincing the Afghan Taliban to sign the Peace Treaty in order to end the 18-year-long antiterrorist campaign in Afghanistan, while Pakistan insisted on resuming the military and financial aid, recognizing its role in antiterrorist action, as well as bilateral cooperation on an equal basis. The achievement of this objective, according to I. Khan, promoted the improvement of Islamabad’s image before the international community and strengthened its positions both in the region and in the whole Muslim world.

Everything happened… verbally. The scenarios were put down. But the US is known to ditch its situational allies as soon as they are no longer needed, and the East is always about subtlety.

Prime Minister I. Khan held negotiations with President D. Trump in the White House on July 22, 2019. The leaders of both states had not officially met since 2015; for the 45th US President this was the first handshake with the Pakistani Prime Minister who took the position in July 2018.

The 2019 White House reorienting towards Islamabad was a public recognition by the Oval Office of its miscalculations........

© New Eastern Outlook