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Friday, May 31, 2024  
22 Dhul-Qadah 1445  

US spokesperson deflects question about Iran and Saudi FM visits to Pakistan

Vedant Patel used the question to focus on Iran's attacks against Israel instead
Screengrab via US State Department
Screengrab via US State Department

A United States official declined to welcome or reject visits by foreign ministers of Iran and Saudi Arabia to Pakistan, choosing instead to focus on Iran’s attacks on Israel instead.

State Department Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel was asked the visits by the foreign ministers in a briefing on Thursday.

However, Patel took the opportunity to say that the US was focused on de-escalation and Iran had not done Palestinians any favour by launching missiles against Israel.

“I’m pretty confident in saying that unleashing hundreds and hundreds of UAVs and ballistic missiles on Israel is certainly not any kind of action that is actually in the interest and in the – for the benefit of the Palestinian people,” he said.

He went on to add that the governments themselves could comment on the visits.

“But look, as it relates to any visits that other foreign ministers or leaders might have, I will let their governments comment on that specifically,” he said.

“Broadly, we are – continue to remain focused on de-escalation,”

Patel also sidestepped a question about bases in Pakistan, choosing instead to say that the two countries have deep security ties.

He was asked about a claim by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leaders about bases being provided to Pakistan but chose not to address it directly.

“Our partnership with Pakistan – our partnership with any government and with Pakistan – is rooted in what is of course in the interest of the American people and the people of Pakistan, and governments that are committed to working for the people of Pakistan,” Patel said.

“That’s always been the case,” he added.

When asked if the US had been allowed to launch attacks against militants in Afghanistan from Pakistani bases, Patel said that the question was for the department of defence.

“I’ll let me colleagues at the Department of Defense speak to any military cooperation that might exist,” he said.

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