Pakistan to skip US summit: FO

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Tuesday chose not to participate in the democracy summit taking place in Washington this week, opting instead to engage with the US on a bilateral basis to encourage democratic values.The virtual summit, led by the United States. China and Turkiye have not been invited to the summit.

The issue of Pakistan’s participation in the Second Summit for Democracy in the US had been under discussion for some time, particularly because it could potentially upset its all-weather friend China, which had not been invited to the summit. Like the first democracy summit in 2021, both India and Pakistan were invited to the summit this time. India attended the last meeting and may do so this year as well. Pakistan had opted out of the first summit, reportedly on back of the Biden administration’s refusal to reach out to the then-prime minister Imran Khan.

In a statement issued on Tuesday the Foreign Office said Pakistan values its friendship with the United States.“Under the Biden Administration, this relationship has widened and expanded substantially. We remain committed to further solidifying this relationship for peace, stability, and prosperity in the region,” the statement said. Explaining the rationale for not taking a part in the summit, the FO said Pakistan had not been part of the summit process that commenced in 2021 and required countries to make certain national commitments. (INP)