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Imran Khan Reaches US in Saudi Prince's ‘Special Aircraft’, Will Meet Trump Tomorrow

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan was reportedly asked by the Saudi Crown Prince not to use a commercial flight.


Updated:September 22, 2019, 3:32 PM IST
Imran Khan Reaches US in Saudi Prince's ‘Special Aircraft’, Will Meet Trump Tomorrow
File photo of Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Islamabad: Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan reached the US on Saturday on a "special aircraft" of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. He will participate in the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

Khan was reportedly asked by the Saudi Crown Prince not to use a commercial flight. Calling Khan a “special guest” the Saudi Prince asked him to go to the US on his special aircraft.

The Pakistani PM will meet US President Donald Trump on Monday, a day after the latter joins Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the mega "Howdy Modi" event in Houston. Trump will again hold a meeting with PM Modi in New York on Tuesday, a senior official said.

Both the meetings with the leaders of India and Pakistan would be held in New York on the sidelines of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, a senior administration official told reporters on Friday in a preview of Trump's engagements in the Big Apple next week.

Trump is expected to arrive in New York on Sunday night after his participation with Modi at the "Howdy Modi" event in Houston where the two leaders will address over 50,000 Indian-Americans.

This will be Khan’s first meeting with Trump after the US president offered to help India and Pakistan resolve the Kashmir issue earlier this month.

The Pakistani PM has already announced that he will highlight the Kashmir issue in his address to the UNGA on September 27 after India revoked Jammu and Kashmir's special status last month.

He said he will "forcefully present the Kashmir issue like never before" at the UN General Assembly session next week.

Tension between India and Pakistan escalated after New Delhi revoked Jammu and Kashmir's special status on August 5. Reacting sharply to India's decision on Kashmir, Pakistan downgraded diplomatic ties with New Delhi and expelled the Indian High Commissioner.

Asserting that abrogation of Article 370 was its internal matter, India has strongly criticised Pakistan for making irresponsible statements and provocative anti-India rhetoric over issues internal to it.

Khan will also avail the opportunity to articulate Pakistan's perspective on some key contemporary issues, the statement said.

On the UNGA summit sidelines, the Pakistani premier will hold several bilateral meetings with his counterparts from other countries on climate change, sustainable development, universal health coverage and financing for development.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi will also attend the UNGA and interact with his counterparts from various countries, and address important ministerial meetings, especially the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir, the statement said.

Before arriving in the US, Khan was on a two-day visit to Saudi Arabia to muster support on the Kashmir issue.

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