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Top US official for South Asia
Posted:Aug 27, 2017
 
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Following United States President Donald Trump's stern warning to Pakistan against harbouring terrorists, the top official overseeing South Asia diplomacy is visiting Islamabad this week.
 
Alice Wells, who is the Acting Assistant Secretary of State in-charge of South and Central Asia, is scheduled to meet with Pakistani officials during her visit, the State Department announced Saturday.
 
She will be the first high-level official to journey to Pakistan after Trump's speech last week issuing to Islamabad the bluntest warning so far by a US president that “it has much to lose by continuing to harbor terrorists.”
 
This is the second trip to Islamabad this month by Wells, who is also the Acting Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.
 
During that visit Wells met with Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in Islamabad.
 
She also visited New Delhi during that trip, although she is skipping India this time.
 
Wells will also be visiting Dhaka and Colombo during the journey that begins on Monday,
On Friday, she is scheduled to speak at the Indian Ocean Conference in Colombo.
 
India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is the Vice-Chair of the organising committee of the conference, and the meeting's brochure said that she and Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar have been invited to speak at the conference.
 
Their participation could facilitate meeting with Wells on the sidelines.
 
Trump asked for India's help in Afghanistan and said a “critical part of the South Asia strategy for America is to further develop its strategic partnership with India.”
 
Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and several leaders and officials from the Indian Ocean region are to be at the conference organised by the India Foundation.
 
 
 
 
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