US sends envoy as ties remain tense
WASHNGTON: US special envoy Mark Grossman left for Pakistan for talks on the Afghan reconciliation process, as the State Department on Friday rejected media reports that Washington has included Pakistan among rogue states.
“Not true,” said a State Department official when asked to comment on media reports that Washington had included Pakistan among the so-called rogue states whose diplomats would need special permission for travelling outside Washington. They also cannot visit US military installations.
But other US sources told Dawn that US officials did discuss the idea with Pakistani diplomats, hinting that from Aug. 1, they might need permission to travel outside Washington.
Such restrictions already apply to Iran, Syria, Yemen and the Palestinian Authority. Iran does not have diplomatic relations with the United States but it does maintain an interest section in Washington.
Diplomats associated with this section are forbidden from travelling outside the capital.
Similar restrictions apply to Iranian diplomats at the UN mission in New York.
Also on Friday, the State Department announced that Ambassador Grossman left Washington on Thursday evening on a trip to Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
“In Pakistan, Ambassador Grossman will meet with senior government officials and will represent the United States at the fourth meeting of the US-Afghanistan-Pakistan Core Group to support the process of Afghan-led reconciliation,” the statement said.
Ambassador Grossman will also meet senior officials in Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan as part of ongoing consultations with Afghanistan`s neighbours and international partners.