U.S. Counselor Derek, delegation visit to Pakistan demonstrate support for flood victims

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Counselor of the U.S. Department of State Derek Chollet and a delegation of senior U.S. government officials from the Department of State, Department of Defense, U.S. Agency for International Development, and the White House National Security Council visited Islamabad and Karachi from September 7 to 9 to meet 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, Counselor 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 U.S. solidarity with the Pakistani people in addressing the humanitarian crisis caused by destructive flooding throughout the country.

Counselor Chollet serves as a senior policy advisor to U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, according to a U.S. Consulate Karachi communiqué here on Monday.

“This has been a very productive visit to Pakistan, and I’m honored to help commemorate the 75th anniversary of U.S.-Pakistan bilateral relations,” said Counselor Chollet.

“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.”

During his meetings, Counselor Chollet offered condolences on behalf of the United States on the devastation caused by widespread flooding in Pakistan and emphasized U.S. sympathy and support for people who have lost loved ones, livelihoods, and homes. In his meeting with Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Counselor 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.

This funding from the United States will provide Pakistani communities with urgent humanitarian supplies for those most affected, while also building resilience against future natural disasters and helping to mitigate the impacts of the climate crisis.

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

The Counselor 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.

In a meeting with Minister of Finance Miftah Ismail, Counselor Chollet discussed the importance of entrepreneurship and Pakistan’s economic potential, emphasizing the promise offered by Pakistan’s youth.

At a roundtable with civil society representatives, the Counselor heard about their activism in upholding democracy, defending marginalized populations, and empowering women.

Meeting with Army Chief General Bajwa, Counselor Chollet discussed opportunities for the United States to support Pakistan’s flood response and U.S.-Pakistan security cooperation.  As an example of that cooperation, the Counselor 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.

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