ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif yesterday discussed his upcoming visit to the United States and the regional situation with the outgoing US ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson who paid a farewell call on him here, officials said. 

“The regional situation and the upcoming visit to the US were discussed. The Prime Minister appreciated the role of the US ambassador in improving the bilateral ties between the two countries,” a government official said. “The two discussed the tension with India and Pakistan’s desire to promote friendly ties with the neighbouring countries including India,” the official added. Sharif’s visit to meet Obama in October will be separate from his trip to New York this month to participate in the UN General Assembly session.

Pakistan will highlight issues of Kashmir, Indian interference and the threat to strategic balance in South Asia during the Prime Minister's visit to attend the UN General Assembly session and the premier’s meeting with President Obama next month.

Richard Olson also called on Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and discussed the bilateral relations. President Obama has nominated David Hale as new ambassador to Pakistan. David Hale will replace Olson who was appointed as ambassador to Pakistan in 2012 after Cameron Munter resigned from the office as a result of tense relations between Washington and Islamabad following US raid that killed Osama Bin Laden.

This will be Sharif’s second visit to the White House during his current tenure. He visited the US in October 2013, when he and Obama reset ties after a downturn in recent years. Sharif’s foreign policy aides were upbeat about the invitation from Obama and one of them said it will take the “strategic partnership to the next level.”