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Top US official hold talks with Pak officials ahead of IMF team's visit

Press Trust of India  |  Islamabad 

A top Tuesday held talks with senior Pakistani officials on bilateral, regional issues and the peace process in

Alice Wells, the US Principal Deputy Assistant for South and Central Asia, held delegation-level discussions with in the Aftab Khokhar and other senior officials and reviewed the progress made on bilateral relations.

Her visit comes a day ahead of the visit by a team of officials from the (IMF) to to negotiate a bailout package for cash-strapped

"The meeting was related to the progress in promotion of bilateral relations based on mutual trust and respect in wake of the talks earlier held between and US Mike Pompeo," Dr said in a statement.

During the meetings, the two sides agreed to continue efforts to promote the shared objectives of peace and stability in the region.

The US has long accused of harbouring militant groups and offering safe havens to them to carry out terror attacks in neighbouring

Wells was expected to meet Asad Umar, on the eve of the visit by the IMF team.

urgently needs a capital boost to avert a looming balance of payments crisis. Foreign reserves held by the country's central dropped below USD 8 billion last month, raising concerns about Islamabad's ability to finance monthly import bills.

The US has cautioned the IMF against a possible fresh bailout for Pakistan's new government to pay off Chinese lenders who have invested in the strategic China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Faisal said that the aim of her visit was to follow up on discussions between and in with a view to further strengthen bilateral relations.

Qureshi and Pompeo had first met in and the meeting was encouraging enough to be followed up in when Pakistan's attended the

Diplomatic sources said that Wells would focus on efforts to reset the relations between the two nations.

Earlier, both countries had agreed that the Afghan should engage in dialogue to reach a political settlement, reported.

As part of this, Pakistan released a high-profile Afghan and former Mullah on Washington's request, the report said.

Baradar was deputy to the late He was arrested from in a joint Pakistan-US operation after reports that he was independently trying to conclude a deal with

Relations between Pakistan and the US are under stress due to allegation that was not doing enough to curb terrorism and to bring Taliban to the negotiating table.

But lately new efforts have been launched to improve the trust level after Pompeo visited Islamabad in September.

Last month, the US also visited Pakistan before flying to Doha, where he reportedly held talks with the Taliban representatives.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, November 06 2018. 19:35 IST