Pompeo visits Pakistan to 'reset' relationship

Pompeo visits Pakistan to 'reset' relationship
© Anna Moneymaker

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoEngel: IG report shows Pompeo's 'sham' use of emergency declaration in arms sales Overnight Defense: Trump pushed to restore full National Guard funding | Watchdog faults Pompeo on civilian risk of Saudi arms sales Pelosi on 'disturbing situation' in Hong Kong: 'The world is watching' MORE on Wednesday arrived in Pakistan, where he met with the country's new prime minister amid a period of heightened tensions with the U.S.

According to The Associated Press, Pompeo told reporters that his meeting with Imran Khan, Pakistan's newly elected leader, was meant “to reset the relationship between our two countries.”

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“We have worked closely with the Pakistanis in my role as CIA director, our teams have been working together for a long time,” Pompeo told the AP.

“I hope we can turn the page and begin to make progress, but there are real expectations. We need Pakistan to seriously engage to help us get to the reconciliation we need in Afghanistan,” he added.

Experts warned the news service that his relationship with Khan could be complicated by the Trump administration's appointment of the former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, as a special adviser on the Afghan conflict. Khalilzad in the past has accused Pakistan's intelligence services of harboring terrorists.

“[H]is appointment will not help move things forward,” defense analyst Zahid Hussain told the AP.

Khan reportedly has rejected the prospect of aiding the U.S. militarily in the war on terror, and advocates a peaceful end to the conflict with Taliban-aligned militants. The prime minister told reporters Wednesday that he was optimistic about reaching a better relationship with the Trump administration, according to the AP.

“You know I’m a born optimist. A sportsman always is an optimist. He steps on the field and he thinks he’s going to win,” he said.