Pompeo to visit Islamabad for talks with PM Khan

Islamabad, Aug 19
US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo is likely to visit Islamabad in September for consultations with Pakistan's newly-elected Prime Minister Imran Khan and his team on issues of mutual interests, sources told Dawn news on Sunday.

Pompeo, who is expected in Islamabad on September 5, will likely be the first foreign dignitary to meet Khan, who was sworn-in as Pakistan's 22nd Prime Minister on Saturday.

During his talks with Pakistani officials, Pompeo may focus on two major issues: efforts to revive once close ties between the two states and Pakistan's support for a US-led move to jump-starting the Afghan peace process, the sources said.

Alice Wells, who heads the Bureau for South Asian affairs at the State Department, may also accompany Pompeo.

Earlier this week, US officials urged Pakistan to help end the Afghan war, adding that recent terrorist attacks in Afghanistan have not discouraged them from negotiating peace with some Taliban factions.

On Saturday, the US State Department said that it recognises and welcomes the new Pakistani Prime Minister, dispelling the impression that Washington was not happy with Khan's election, reports Dawn news.

In an earlier statement, a senior US official had hoped that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government would work with the US for translating tough issues into mutual achievements.

"We recognise and welcome the newly elected Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on taking the oath of office," Nauert said.

Relations between Pakistan and the US nosedived in January when President Donald Trump accused Islamabad of providing "safe haven" to the terrorists who kill American soldiers in Afghanistan while taking billions of dollars in aid from Washington.

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