Graham: Trump should meet Pakistan's leader to reset relations

Graham: Trump should meet Pakistan's leader to reset relations
© Stefani Reynolds

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamWhy Ken Cuccinelli should be Trump's choice for DHS Ten post-Mueller questions that could turn the tables on Russia collusion investigators GOP senators double down on demand for Clinton email probe documents MORE (R-S.C.) during a visit to Islamabad said that he believes President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Dems demand Barr cancel 'inappropriate' press conference on Mueller report DOJ plans to release 'lightly redacted' version of Mueller report Thursday: WaPo Nadler accuses Barr of 'unprecedented steps' to 'spin' Mueller report MORE should meet with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in order to reset relations, the latest signal that the relationship between the two countries could be warming.

“I’ve seen things change here and all in a positive direction,” Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said during a news conference, according to Reuters. Khan was elected prime minister of Pakistan over the summer.

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“With Prime Minister Khan, we have a unique opportunity to change our relationship,” he said. Graham called for "strategic engagement" between Washington and Islamabad, which could include a free trade agreement, Reuters reported.

Khan has offered support for a peace agreement in Afghanistan, which Graham said could leave Trump feeling “far more enthusiastic about the region than he is today."

Graham said Trump should meet with the leaders of Afghanistan and Pakistan to discuss a peace agreement.  

Graham expressed appreciation for Khan's work supporting a political settlement in Afghanistan.

Trump has multiple times expressed interest in pulling U.S. troops out of Afghanistan, following his surprise decision to remove the thousands of U.S. troops from Syria.

Graham, one of Trump's most outspoken allies in the Senate, told Reuters that Trump would not ask the U.S. to leave if it meant the Taliban would take over Afghanistan.  

“The world’s not going to let the Taliban take Afghanistan over by force of arms," Graham said. "That would be unconscionable. “Any president who let that happen would go down in history very poorly.”

While Graham often offers support for Trump's controversial decisions, he has broken with the president multiple times over foreign policy issues, including U.S. ties with Saudi Arabia and the U.S. troop drawdown in Syria. 

Graham earlier this week met with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan to discuss U.S. plans to leave Syria.