US seeks strong
partnership with Pakistan
and India: Donald Blome

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ISLAMABAD: Donald Armin Blome, the United States nominee for ambassador to Pakistan, has said he would work to decrease tensions between India and Pakistan if confirmed for the position, and Washington and Islamabad would jointly combat all militant outfits, including Al-Qaeda, Daesh-Khorasan, and the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan.
Blome, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, is currently the US Ambassador to Tunisia. He was nominated to the position in Pakistan in October.
“The region can ill afford another conflict, especially between nuclear-armed states,” Blome said in testimony before the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on Wednesday. “If confirmed, I will work with my colleagues to decrease tensions between India and Pakistan.”
“I have been encouraged by the continued cease-fire along the Line of Control. Strong US bilateral partnerships with India and Pakistan are not mutually exclusive; we need productive ties with both states. Pakistan and India should decide the pace, scope, and character of their bilateral Interactions.”

US new ambassador to Pakistan Donald Armin Blome

He said the bilateral relationship with Pakistan remained “extraordinarily consequential” for US core interests, and the US had a shared interest in promoting the role of US business and commercial interests in Pakistan’s economy.
“If confirmed, I will work with Pakistan to resolve market access issues, including concerns with Pakistan’s digital economy regulations, intellectual property protections, and contract enforcement. I will encourage Pakistan to promote more transparent investments through sustainable financing, with a focus on the environmental and social impacts of investment projects.”
Blome said he would press Pakistan to target “all terrorist groups without distinction.”
“The United States and Pakistan are committed to combatting AlQa’ida, Daesh-Khorasan, and Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan. If confirmed, I also will engage Pakistan on fighting all other groups – including Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed,” the ambassador said.

Blome also said he would not shy from defending human rights in Pakistan, particularly the freedom of religion and expression. “Religious minorities in Pakistan have long faced societal and legal discrimination, as well as accusations of blasphemy. These accusations have undermined the rule of law, threatened mob rule, deeply damaged Pakistan’s international reputation, and led to murderous violence and many deaths,” the ambassador said.
“If confirmed, I will speak out against these abuses and violations of human rights and religious freedom. I will urge the Pakistani government to cease harassment of journalists and members of civil society, who have faced kidnappings, assaults, intimidation, and disappearances, and hold perpetrators of these actions accountable. I will advocate for expanded protections for freedom of association and assembly and will meet with civil society partners regularly.”

US Ambassador designated to Pakistan, Donald Blome, Tuesday expressed the desire to enhance economic and commercial ties between Islamabad and Washington.

Briefing the Senate Committee, Blome expressed his conviction to work for Pakistan’s digital economy and intellectual property protection, besides promoting transparent investment.

The diplomat said the US wants to build better mutual and bilateral relationships between Pakistan and India, adding, “The region cannot afford any other conflict.”

Donald Armin Blome – the US nominee for ambassador to Pakistan

Donald Blome has affirmed that Pakistan and the US will wage a joint fight against Al-Qaeda, Daesh, and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

“Being an ambassador in Pakistan, safe evacuation of American citizens from Afghanistan will be my priority,” he said, adding that the US diplomatic mission in Pakistan would strive for a stable and all-inclusive government in Afghanistan. “I will make sure that Afghanistan does not turn into a safe haven for extremists,” he said.

He also expressed his resolve to protect human rights in Pakistan, adding that treatment meted out to minorities has tarnished the country’s image. He added that the US would also raise its voice for protecting the rights of minorities and religious freedom. In addition, Pakistan would also be asked to avoid harassing human rights activists and journalists, Blome said.

Nomination as ambassador

US President Joe Biden has nominated Donald Blome as ambassador to Pakistan. The announcement comes after a three-year hiatus as Washington looks forward to coordinate with Islamabad on the situation in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of American troops in August.

Donald Armin Blome, currently ambassador to Tunisia, is the nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the White House said.

Donald Blome is a career diplomat who has worked at key positions in the Middle East region for over 2 decades.

The position of US ambassador to Pakistan remained vacant since August 2018 when ambassador David Hale was posted as Under Secretary for Political Affairs in Washington. After his departure, Paul Jones and Angela Aggeler served as charge d’affaires of the US Embassy in Pakistan.

Profile of Donald Blome

During more than 25 years in the Foreign Service and serving in senior positions in the Arab region, Blome has specialised in Middle East affairs. He also speaks Arabic. He earned a BA and a JD from the University of Michigan.

Donald Blame has served as consul general at the US Consulate in Jerusalem (2015-2018), and director of the office of Arabian Peninsula Affairs at the US Department of State. Blome has also served as a political counsellor at the embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan (2012-2013). He also worked in Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait. Other assignments include Israel desk officer, deputy director and acting director at the office of Israel and Palestinian Affairs (2001-2004), Iran desk officer and overseas tours in Jordan and Saudi Arabia.