Post-Brexit UK has a lot in store for Pakistan, Sadiq tells PM Abbasi

–London mayor says Trump doesn’t understand world politics

Tells Asif ‘London is open’ to Pakistanis 

ISLAMABAD: London Mayor Sadiq Khan on Thursday assured Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi that he would work towards nurturing closer ties between London and Pakistan, as he invited the Pakistani investors to take advantage of the favourable business opportunities in the post-Brexit United Kingdom.

Sadiq, who was accompanied by a 25-member delegation, called on PM Abbasi at the Prime Minister’s House, Islamabad.

Talking about Pakistan’s economic progress during the reign of the incumbent government, PM Abbasi told the mayor that Pakistan had become surplus in energy, and the successful counter-terrorism efforts had made it an opportune destination for UK businesses.

Briefing on the economic opportunities in Pakistan, the prime minister hoped that the mayor and his delegation would take this message to London that Pakistan was a safe country for trade, investment and meaningful cooperation.

Impressed by the recent pace of progress, Mayor Sadiq said that his visit had served to remove popular misperceptions about Pakistan and he would work towards strengthening economic links with Pakistan. He further said it was UK’s objective to develop closer economic partnerships with all countries, especially those in the Commonwealth.

KH ASIF BRIEFS SADIQ ON ECONOMY:

Earlier in the day, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif briefed Sadiq Khan on Pakistan’s economic successes, stated a foreign office statement.

The minister also congratulated the visiting dignitary over his effective leadership in running a city like London with its many demands.

The mayor, in turn, briefed Asif on his “London is open” campaign, emphasising the benefits of studying and working in London. In addition, the two leaders talked about areas through which relationship between the two countries could be deepened, including trade, education, culture and arts.

SADIQ SAYS TRUMP IS WRONG:

Meanwhile, in an interview with a private media outlet, Sadiq Khan expressed serious concerns over US’ decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israeli capital, saying that US President Donald Trump does not understand world politics.

“I’m very concerned, Trump doesn’t understand world politics, the offence he is causing,” he said.

Trump on Wednesday recognised the disputed city of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital – a historic decision that overturns decades of US policy and risks triggering a fresh spasm of violence in the Middle East.

Sadiq described Trump’s speech as “dangerous” and said the whole world needs to unite to “tell Trump that he is wrong” and lobby to get the US to change its stance.

“Jerusalem has to be part of the peace negotiation, the whole world believes that. France, UK, and others have also condemned the move,” he said.

The London mayor, however, emphasised the need to be peaceful and not resort to violence while protesting the move.

On being questioned whether he would welcome Trump in the UK, Sadiq said that the US president should not have a state visit and that “we shouldn’t roll out a red carpet for him”.

“I’ve been quite clear about this; he should not have a state visit. People of London are not his fans. I’ve heard he is visiting London in February, but not on a state visit, so let’s see,” he said.

The London mayor also advised Trump to change his views on Islam and Muslims.

“People say US and UK are best friends,” he said, adding that best friends also call out each other when one is wrong. “So I’m telling the US that yes, you’re still my best friend, but you need to change your stance on Jerusalem.”

 



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