United States (US) Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, has said that the US government is pleased to announce another $10 million for Pakistan’s food security programme.

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari met Blinken at the State Department in Washington DC on Monday.

Holding a joint press conference following the meeting, Bilawal said that diplomacy between the State Department and the foreign ministry of Pakistan is back once again.

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“It is indeed true that diplomacy is back between the US State Department and the foreign ministry of Pakistan,” he stressed.

Blinken said this is a very difficult time for Pakistan after floods wreacked havoc in the country. Floods will have long-term repercussions if the situation is not handled immediately, he warned.

The US top official said, “We are meeting when Pakistan’s one-third [area] is under water. We have a sense of urgency and sense of determination. We’re looking ahead to rebuild.”

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He stated that the US stands with the people of Pakistan at this crucial time and added that 17 planes carrying aid for flood victims had already left the country. Pakistan will also receive an additional $10 million for its food security programme, he noted.

“That has an immediate impact. But unless we’re able together to deal with the challenge, it will have a long-term impact as well,” said Blinken.

“I also urged our colleagues to engage China on some of the important issues of debt relief and restructuring so that Pakistan can more quickly recover from the floods,” Blinken said.

China is a key economic and political partner of Pakistan, pushing ahead with a $54 billion “economic corridor” that will build infrastructure and give Beijing an outlet to the Indian Ocean, although Chinese interests have also faced attacks from separatists.

During the press conference, Bilawal also invited Blinken to visit Pakistan.