WASHINGTON - Pakistan’s new ambassador to the United States, Jalil Abbas Jilani has begun meeting congressional leaders on Capitol Hill in an effort to promote a better understanding of his government’s policies.

On Wednesday, he exchanged views with senior members of the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, the Pakistani Embassy said.

In separate meetings with Congressman Ed Royce, Chairman House Foreign Affairs Committee and Congressman Eliot Engel, Ranking Member of the Committee, Ambassador Jilani discussed a wide range of issues in Washington-Islamabad relations. He also conveyed best wishes of the leadership and the people of Pakistan.

The US consistent support for democracy in Pakistan, Ambassador Jilani said, is deeply valued by the people of Pakistan. He noted that a positive momentum in Pakistan-US bilateral cooperation, especially in the energy sector has contributed to positive appreciation of American assistance in Pakistan.

Welcoming the ambassador, Congressman Ed Royce agreed with the need to enhance bilateral ties with greater focus on trade and commerce. Ranking Member Engel stated that regional developments necessitated close and sustained engagement between Pakistan and the United States.

Ambassador Jilani also met with Senator Dianne Feinstein, a top Democrat from California, who chairs the Select Committee on Intelligence, and discussed enhancing relations between the two countries. Jilani briefed Senator Feinstein on the latest developments in the relationship including the recent several high-level exchanges from both sides as well as the forthcoming meetings. Other matters, including Afghanistan, were also discussed.  In the meeting, he expressed the desire to work with her to further strengthen the important relationship between Pakistan and the US.

Senator Feinstein showed her keen interest in working with the democratic government of Pakistan and assisting the Pakistani people in overcoming their economic and security challenges, the embassy said.