PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi addresses UNGA tonight | Pakistan

NEW YORK/KARACHI: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is set to address the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York late Thursday night in what will be his debut into the highest international diplomacy after taking over the office last month.

Although the PM’s speech was scheduled to commence at 6 PM EDT (3 AM PST, Friday), it has been readjusted by approximately 45 minutes since some speakers prior to him took longer than the average 15-minute duration.

Abbasi is 12th in the list of speakers to address the UNGA.

The Premier arrived in New York on Monday to lead the country’s delegation to the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly. He is expected to talk Pakistan’s position on key international issues, including the Kashmir dispute.

Abbasi would also apprise the world body of the country’s successes in the field of economics as well as its fight against terrorism and extremism.

Before addressing the assembly, PM Abbasi met with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

PM Abbasi has held key meetings with a number of world leaders during his stay in New York. These included calls on the United States Vice President Mike Pence and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, among others.

‘Positive’ meeting with President Trump

PM Abbasi also had a brief meeting with US President Donald Trump at a reception he hosted for the world leaders attending the UNGA’s 72nd session. He disclosed this at a luncheon meeting of the US-Pakistan Business Council on Wednesday.

The interaction with Trump took place after his 45-minute long meeting with US Vice President Mike Pence, during which the two talked bilateral issues and the Afghan situation.

“President Trump was very positive about Pakistan,” Abbasi told the American businessmen and investors. He said he told Trump that Pakistan was committed to fighting terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

Abbasi later told the Council on Foreign Relations that “Pakistan wants to move forward and remain engaged with the United States”.

The White House, in a statement issued earlier, said, “The Vice President and Prime Minister Abbasi had an important conversation about the President’s South Asia strategy that was announced late last month.”

As per the statement, the vice president reiterated Trump’s belief that “Pakistan has much to gain from partnering with our effort” in the region.

COVER IMAGE: Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi answers a question during the panel discussion with the Council on Foreign Relations in Manhattan, New York, US, September 20, 2017. REUTERS/Jeenah Moon

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