Pompeo visits Pakistan to 'reset' relationship

Pompeo visits Pakistan to 'reset' relationship
© Anna Moneymaker

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoRosenstein report gives GOP new ammo against DOJ Pompeo rejects ‘good cop, bad cop’ characterization of Russia strategy Pompeo: 'Enormous mistake' for Iran to blame US, allies for attack on military parade 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.