Bilawal Fails To Get In-Person Meeting With Blinken In Washington
WASHINGTON, DC (IANS) – Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari failed to get an in-person meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken during his recent visit here and had to settle for a phone conversation even though they were in the same capital.
Instead, he made do with an in-person session with Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman on December 22 as he was wrapping up his three-day visit to Washington.
Blinken met with Panama’s Foreign Minister Janaina Tewaney at the State Department with its start open to a press pool, a couple of hours before Sherman’s meeting with Bilawal which was closed to the media.
A day earlier, when Blinken spoke to Bilawal, the State Department’s public schedule did not list any meetings for Blinken but said that he would be at meetings and briefings at the Department.
In the phone conversation Blinkern “underscored the US’ resolute support for Pakistan as it combats terrorism”, according to a readout from Department Spokesperson Ned Price. They “shared their mutual hope for a productive International Conference on Climate Resilient Pakistan in January and discussed the need for close coordination,” the readout said.
An administration source downplayed any significance in Blinken not personally meeting with Bilawal. Noting that Blinken and the Pakistani Foreign Minister have held five meetings, the source said, “The format of these discussions do not indicate the level of importance”.