Pompeo Heading to Pakistan as Ties at Low Point

VOA News FILE – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pauses while speaking at the State Department in Washington, June 28, 2018.

ISLAMABAD —  U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is due to visit Pakistan on Wednesday for the first high-level official meetings with leaders of the newly-elected government in Islamabad as bilateral relations have deteriorated to the lowest ebb in the past year.

Long-running divergent views over how to fight regional terrorism and bring an end to the 17-year-old deadly conflict in Afghanistan continue to overshadow expectations for the visit to break the stalemate in Islamabad’s complicated relationship with Washington, despite both being officially allies in anti-terrorism efforts.

Pompeo will be accompanied by Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Joseph Dunford when he lands in Pakistan, underscoring U.S. counterterrorism focus in engagements with the uneasy South Asian partner.

The American delegation will hold formal negotiations with Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and his team. Officials told VOA the visitors are also scheduled to hold separate meetings with Prime Minister Imran Khan, who took the oath of office two weeks ago, and General Qamar Javed Bajwa, the military chief.

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