Home Latest News U.S. Encourages Pakistan to ‘Prioritize, Expand Economic Reforms’

U.S. Encourages Pakistan to ‘Prioritize, Expand Economic Reforms’

State Department spokesperson notes Pakistan continues to be important U.S. partner in several areas

by Staff Report

Screengrab of U.S. State Department Principal Deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel addressing a press briefing

The United States on Thursday said it has encouraged Pakistan to “prioritize and expand economic reforms” so it can address its economic challenges.

Responding to a query during a press briefing, State Department Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel said Washington had communicated this to Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb, who is currently on an official visit to the U.S. Earlier this week, he met Assistant Secretary Donald Lu and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Elizabeth Horst.

“During the meetings from our end, we encouraged Pakistan to prioritize and expand economic reforms, to address its own economic challenges,” said Patel, stressing Pakistan continued to be an important partner of the U.S. in several areas.

“Particularly, it’s a country we have an immense security cooperation with, and we of course are looking to continue to collaborate and work with the Government of Pakistan,” he said.

To another question on whether the U.S. is satisfied that Pakistan’s current leadership would make decision “in the interest” of the U.S., the spokesperson said Washington’s partnership with Islamabad—regardless of the government—was rooted in “what is of course in the interest of the American people and the people of Pakistan, and governments that are committed to working for the people of Pakistan.”

Also on Thursday, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Middle East and Central Asia Director Jihad Azour told a press conference on the sidelines of the IMF 2024 Spring Meetings that the lender is ready to support Pakistan. “I think what is important at this stage is to accelerate the reforms, double down on the structure of reforms in order to provide Pakistan with its full potential of growth,” he told a press conference. Earlier, Finance Minister Aurangzeb said Pakistan hoped to secure a fresh bailout with the IMF by June or July.

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