Pompeo likely to visit Pak on Sep 5

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Islamabad , Aug 20 :

United States Secretary of State Michael Pompeo is likely to visit Pakistan on September 5 to meet newly sworn-in Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and discuss issues on mutual interests, The Dawn quoted diplomatic and official sources as saying.
Pompeo, who would make a brief stopover in Islamabad, would likely be the first foreign dignitary to meet Khan, who took oath as the 22nd prime minister of Pakistan on Saturday, the paper quoted sources as saying.
The US Secretary of State, who will hold talks with Pakistani officials, will likely deliberate on efforts to revive the strained relations between Washington and Islamabad and ask for Pakistan’s support and cooperation to re-start the US-led Afghan peace process, sources added.
After the meeting, Pompeo would leave for New Delhi on September 6 to attend the 2+2 dialogue.
Pompeo is likely to be accompanied by Alice Wells, who heads the Bureau for South Asian affairs at the State Department.
On August 14, Pompeo, in a special message to Pakistan on their Independence Day, said that he wishes to improve and bolster bilateral relations between the two countries.
He was quoted by Geo News as saying, “The US hopes to further strengthen ties with Pakistan in the years ahead and work with its people and government to advance shared goals of security, stability and prosperity in South Asia.”
“For more than seven decades, the relationship between the US and Pakistan has rested on the strong foundation of close ties between our two peoples”, Pompeo added.
After Khan took oath as the Pakistan prime minister on Saturday, US State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said that Washington is looking forward to work with the new government.
“For over 70 years, the relationship between the United States and Pakistan has been a vital one. The United States looks forward to working with Pakistan’s new civilian government to promote peace and prosperity in Pakistan and the region,” Nauert said.
The relations between the US and Pakistan strained in January this year, when US President Donald Trump slammed Pakistan in a tweet, saying that the country gave “safe haven” to the terrorists and is not taking steps to tackle terrorism, following which Trump suspended the military aid to Pakistan.
“The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!,” Trump had tweeted.

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