US congratulates PM Shehbaz Sharif

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says US has huge interests in Pakistan.

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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday congratulated Pakistan’s new Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who took office after the ouster of Imran Khan.

In a statement, the top diplomat hailed Pakistan as “an important partner on wide-ranging mutual interests for nearly 75 years” and said the US values their relationship.

“The United States congratulates newly elected Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and we look forward to continuing our long-standing cooperation with Pakistan’s government,” said Blinken.

“The United States views a strong, prosperous, and democratic Pakistan as essential for the interests of both of our countries,” he added.

Sharif was sworn-in on Monday after former Premier Imran Khan was ousted in a no-confidence vote that he attempted to thwart. The younger brother of three-time former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and a joint candidate of the combined opposition secured 174 votes in Pakistan’s 342-member lower legislative chamber, the National Assembly.

Read more: Interpreting President Putin’s Congratulations To Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif

Imran Khan maintained that he was the victim of a US plot that sought his removal.

Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated newly-elected Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday.

This came a week after Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that the recent political process in that country which ultimately led to him replacing former Prime Minister Imran Khan represented “another attempt of shameless US interference in the internal affairs of an independent state for its own selfish purposes.”

Read more: US, India urge Pakistan for “immediate” action against terrorism

Some observers were thus surprised that the Russian leader would congratulate what his own Foreign Ministry implied was a US-backed political figure who just replaced its prior Russian-friendly leader. This development, therefore, deserves to be clarified.

Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk

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