In response to rumours sparked by President Joe Biden’s impromptu remarks about Pakistan’s nuclear programme, the US has stated that it is confident in Pakistan’s ability to keep its nuclear assets safe and secure.
The United States is confident of Pakistan’s commitment and ability to secure nuclear assets, US State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel told journalists in Washington shortly after a meeting between Ambassador Masood Khan and Counselor Derek Chollet.
Chollet, a senior advisor to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, announced the meeting, which took place days after the Pakistan Foreign Office summoned the US ambassador in Islamabad to protest President Biden’s remarks.
Chollet said in a tweet that he met with Ambassador Khan to talk about the long-standing relationship between the US and Pakistan and to strengthen our ties in many areas, such as health, education, agriculture, energy, entrepreneurship, and more, for the benefit of our people and the region.
The counselor’s tweet compelled the Pakistani embassy to confirm the meeting in a press release that included text from both Chollet’s statement and the daily news briefing.
Ambassador Khan also tweeted that he spoke with Counselor Chollet about ways to build further resilience in Pakistan-US relations and boost strategic trust between the two countries and thanked him for his assistance.
Through high-level visits, interpersonal interactions, and effective communication, Khan expressed confidence that bilateral relations would continue to be strengthened.
On Monday afternoon, a reporter questioned Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel about the confusion caused by President Biden’s remarks.
Why is the US raising nuclear concerns now?
On Thursday, President Biden surprised everyone when he spoke at a Democratic fundraiser in California and made some spontaneous remarks about Pakistan. He declared, What I believe to be perhaps one of the most dangerous countries in the world: Pakistan, and then explained why he believes Pakistan is dangerous: Nuclear weapons with no cohesion.
His remarks sparked outrage in Pakistan, with both opposition and government figures condemning him and reiterating Islamabad’s position that the country’s nuclear assets were completely secure due to Pakistan’s strong command and control infrastructure.
The White House quickly responded, assuring Islamabad that the president views a secure and prosperous Pakistan as critical to US interests.
On Monday afternoon, however, spokesperson Vedant Patel provided a more detailed explanation. The United States has always viewed a secure and prosperous Pakistan as critical to US interests, and the United States values our ongoing partnership with Pakistan, he said.
The two countries enjoy a strong partnership, according to a State Department representative, and Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari recently visited Washington, where he met Secretary Blinken.
He recalled that during the floods, USAID Administrator Sam Power and Counselor Chollet both visited Karachi and Islamabad.
This is a relationship we view as important, and it’s something that we’re going to continue to remain deeply engaged in, Patel said, referring to frequent meetings between US and Pakistani officials.
I don’t have any specific conversations to read out, but the US is confident in Pakistan’s commitment and capacity to secure its nuclear assets, the US official said in response to the journalist’s insistence that he receive an answer to his question regarding President Biden’s remarks.