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Nawaz Sharif likely to meet Donald Trump in Saudi Arabia

LiveMint logoLiveMint 15-05-2017 Sajjad Hussain

Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is likely to meet Donald Trump for the first time on the sidelines of the US-Arab Islamic summit in Saudi Arabia this month during which he can brief the US president about the ongoing tension with India, a media report said on Monday.

Efforts are underway to arrange a maiden bilateral meeting between Trump and Sharif on the sidelines of the summit on 21 May, The Express Tribune reported.

The meeting, if takes place, will provide an opportunity to both the sides to listen to each other’s perspective as well as concerns on a range of issues covering bilateral cooperation and current regional and international issues, the report said.

A senior Pakistani official, who preferred to remain anonymous, said the prime minister was already preparing a ‘brief’ for a possible interaction with the US president. The official said the ‘brief’ includes the country’s position on the current situation in Afghanistan and the way forward and the ongoing tension with India.

On both the issues, officials in Pakistan believe that the US administration could play a more proactive role in order to prevent regional countries pitting against each other for their strategic interests.

Some of Trump’s aides have openly expressed concern over the deteriorating Indo-Pak ties. There are strains in ties between India and Pakistan over a number of issues including the cross-border terror attacks in India and sentencing of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav to death on charges of spying.

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