Young Journalists Club | Latest news of Iran and world

News ID: 28437
Publish Date: 21:01 - 05 September 2018
TEHRAN, September 05 -US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has met with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad, hoping to reset relations that were strained over the war in Afghanistan and a range of other issues.

TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) -Local Pakistani media said the meeting on Wednesday was to be mainly about the prospects of a negotiated end to the war.

Khan is a fierce critic of Washington's policies in the region.

In Islamabad, Pompeo also met with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Faisal said talks were held on “bilateral, regional and international issues.”

“Foreign Minister Qureshi underscores the need to reset bilateral ties on the basis of mutual trust and respect,” the spokesman said on Twitter, posting a picture of the meeting between Pompeo and Qureshi.

Pompeo was also expected to meet with Pakistan's army chief, Qamar Javed Bajwa, before flying to India, Pakistan’s neighbor and bitter foe.

The former CIA director, making his first visit as the top US diplomat to the wayward ally whose support is vital in the Afghan conflict, said he was hoping to "reset the relationship" with Pakistan.

On the plane from the United States, Pompeo told reporters, "There are a lot of challenges between our two nations for sure but we're hopeful that with the new leadership that we can find common ground and we can begin to work on some of our shared problems together."

US Marine General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who is also on a visit to Pakistan said President Donald Trump’s South Asia strategy set clear expectations for Pakistan, including help to push the Taliban militant group to a peace process in neighboring Afghanistan.

The meetings come against the backdrop of tense ties between Washington and Islamabad as well as the US military aid cuts over Pakistan's alleged reluctance to crack down on militants sheltering on its territory. Pakistan says the cuts are unwarranted as it incurs expenses in fighting militants who pose a danger to US troops in Afghanistan.

In August last year, Trump denounced Islamabad for offering safe haven to "agents of chaos."

“We can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organisations, the Taliban and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond,” Trump said in a major speech outlining the US policy on Afghanistan,

In a series of tweets, Imran Khan then argued that “the US blames Pakistan again for its deeply flawed and failed Afghan policy stretching over a decade.”

Pompeo also confirmed that Zalmay Khalilzad, a high-profile former US ambassador to Kabul, Baghdad and the United Nations, would be appointed to lead peace efforts in Afghanistan.

Zahid Hussain, a defense analyst and author of two books on militancy in the region, said the appointment of Khalilzad as a special adviser on reconciliation in Afghanistan could complicate his job. “He has been very critical of Pakistan in the past and his appointment will not help move things forward.”

Successive US governments have criticized Pakistan for links with the Taliban militants and for harboring slain al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

Senior civilian and military officials in Islamabad have frequently said the US government is making Pakistan a scapegoat to cover Washington’s failure in Afghanistan.

Source: Press TV

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