Outgoing ambassador calls for persevering efforts to fortify Pakistan-US relations

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DNA

Outgoing Pakistani ambassador to the United States, Masood Khan, on Sunday called for persevering efforts to strengthen Pakistan-United States relations, despite periodic ups and downs.

Pakistan on Friday decided to replace Khan and appoint Additional Foreign Secretary (Middle East and SIFC) Ambassador Rizwan Saeed Sheikh as envoy to the United States.

At a farewell dinner organised in honour of the outgoing Pakistani envoy, United States Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Elizabeth Horst Friday praised Khan, for his services towards building “bridges between Islamabad and Washington”.

“On behalf of the State Department, I just want to note that the US-Pakistan relationship is in the best place it’s been in years, in part, in large part to what Ambassador Masood Khan has done to represent Pakistan, to build bridges between Islamabad and Washington,” said Horst.

On behalf of the State Department, the US official acknowledged that the ties between the two countries, like any longstanding relationship, have experienced friction at times, but “because of you, we know how we can talk through this and we have a framework to talk through friction”, she added.

Khan was given agrément by the US Department of State for serving as ambassador to Washington in February 2022. He was nominated for the post by the then prime minister Imran Khan in November 2021.

In his farewell note, Khan wrote: “A robust relationship between our two nations is work in progress, backed by a history of nearly 77 years.”

As he completed his assignment as the ambassador of Pakistan to the US, he said since March 2022, after taking charge of the office, they had tried to build strong Pak-US relations.

The envoy thanked a host of entities including “American friends” from the administration, Congress, state governments and assemblies, International Financial Institutions (IFIs), think-tanks, media, civil society and the private sector, as well as the diaspora community for the support in building the bilateral ties.

“I am indebted to the influential Pakistani-American professional organisations that have helped me, our missions, and our two nations to navigate through challenging but promising landscapes,” he maintained.

Khan said he was confident that the same would extend full support to his successor as well.

“As I leave, I wish you all success and prosperity. Have faith in Pakistan and keep nurturing Pakistan-United States ties,” he concluded.