Pakistan preps for meeting with Pompeo after US stops military funding

Pakistan preps for meeting with Pompeo after US stops military funding
© Anna Moneymaker

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Sunday said that he will have “exchanges” with U.S. Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoOvernight Defense: Air Force outlines plan for biggest force since end of Cold War | Trump admin slashes refugee cap | Mattis accuses Russia of meddling in Macedonia's NATO bid Hillicon Valley: Elon Musk sued by diver from Thai cave rescue | Researchers find new malware family | FEMA delays new presidential alert test Trump administration to cut refugee admissions to 30K for 2019 MORE when Pompeo visits the country this week, according to Reuters.

Pompeo’s visit to Pakistan will come days after the Pentagon announced it would cut $300 million in aid to the country.

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“On the 5th, the American [Secretary of State] Pompeo will be arriving, and we will have a chance to sit down with him. There will be exchanges,” Qureshi said Sunday night, per Reuters. “We will take our mutual respect for each other into consideration and move forward.”

Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Kone Faulkner told Reuters last week that the U.S. was cutting the aid because of “a lack of Pakistani decisive actions.”

“Due to a lack of Pakistani decisive actions in support of the South Asia Strategy the remaining $300 [million] was reprogrammed,” Faulkner said.

Qureshi said Sunday night that the U.S. wasn’t justified to cut the funding because it was supposed to serve as a reimbursement, not as aid. 

“It is not aid. It is not assistance, which was suspended. This the money, which we have spent. This is our money. We have spent it,” Qureshi said. “We did it for our betterment, which they had to reimburse.”

Relations between Washington and Islamabad have deteriorated throughout 2018, which began with President Trump tweeting on Jan. 1 that the U.S. “has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years.”