Pompeo meets new Pakistan PM as US seeks to reset ties

ISLAMABAD: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (pictured)met Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad on Wednesday, in the first high-level US visit to the new government, looking to reset relations strained over the war in Afghanistan.
Tensions between the uneasy allies rose ahead of Wednesday’s visit when the Pentagon confirmed it had made a final decision to cancel $300 million in military aid to Pakistan.
After greeting Khan in the capital Islamabad, Pompeo said he was “very pleased” with his earlier meeting with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.
Khan, a cricket legend who swept to power in the July elections, said he was hopeful about resetting relations.
“I’m a born optimist. A sportsman always is an optimist. He steps on the field and he thinks he’s going to win,” Khan told reporters.
Pompeo is due next to visit India, where he is expected to pile pressure on New Delhi over its purchases of Iranian oil and Russian missile systems.
With Pakistan’s Khan taking office in August, Pompeo said on the way to the nuclear-armed nation that he wanted “to get out there at the beginning of his time in an effort to reset the relationship”.
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.”
— Reuters