US wants to see prosperous Pakistan for regional stability: State Department

Washington wants to see a flourishing Pakistan that contributes positively towards regional stability and security, US State Department spokesperson Robert Palladino said on Tuesday.

Palladino was answering a question on the recent remarks by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo regarding Pakistan’s nuclear programme in a regular news briefing.

“Nuclear proliferation is a … one of the very first national security concerns articulated in our National Security Strategy. It’s at the very top of the list. So that absolutely remains something that this administration thinks about often, because the level of – the level, the impact, of what could happen is simply so great. So that remains at the very top of our national security considerations.

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“As far as Pakistan itself, the Secretary has also emphasized that – the need to deliver outcomes and to build confidence and trust between our two nations, and we do want to see a prosperous Pakistan that contributes positively towards regional stability and security. And I’ll stop there,” Palladino said.

Answering another question on Pakistan’s role in the ongoing peace process in Afghanistan, the spokesperson said the country has an important role to play in the negotiations.

“Pakistan could play an important role in bringing about a negotiated settlement in Afghanistan, and something that we’re thankful for,” he said.

About a raid last month at North Korea’s embassy in Madrid, Palladino said the US government had nothing to do with it.

A Spanish judicial source earlier said a Spanish judge plans to request the extradition from the United States of members of a group he suspects of forcing their way into the embassy and trying to persuade an official there to defect. Spanish High Court documents identified one of the group as a Mexican citizen who is a US resident and another as a US citizen.

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The spokesperson further shared that the Democratic Republic of Congo’s new President Felix Tshisekedi will visit Washington from April 3 to 5 for meetings with Pompeo and other senior cabinet officials in the Trump administration.

Palladino said efforts to contain the Ebola outbreak in the violence-plagued eastern region of Congo would also be discussed. The country’s Ebola epidemic has now exceeded 1,000 cases, according to its health ministry, with a death toll of about 629 in the world’s second-worst ever outbreak.