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Trump ‘looks forward to’ meeting Imran Khan

Imran Khan
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News Desk |

US President Donald Trump said Wednesday he wants a “great relationship” with Pakistan and is looking forward to meeting the new leadership in that country.

Donald Trump told his Cabinet colleagues in the same meeting that he has ended USD 1.3 billion in aid to Pakistan because “this South Asian country houses enemies”.

The US President underscored that his administration has initiated peace talks with the Taliban. He also announced that a meeting with the new leadership of Pakistan will take place “very soon”.

US President Trump would be a “bitter pill” to swallow should he become Pakistan’s prime minister in elections later that year, but added “I would meet him.”

The US president, who last month wrote to Prime Minister Imran Khan seeking Pakistan’s assistance in achieving a negotiated settlement of the Afghan war, said he wants to have better relations with Pakistan but levelled a grave allegation in the same breath.

“We want to have a great relationship with Pakistan, but they house the enemy, they take care of the enemy,” he said. “We just can’t do that. So, I look forward to meeting with the folks from — and the new leadership in Pakistan, we’ll be doing that in the not-too-distant future. I ended the 1.3 billion we paid, it’s like water, we just do it.”

Read more: PM Imran Khan: Man who sacrifices his ego for his nation

Trump has been consistent in his criticism of Pakistan since he launched his South Asia and Afghanistan strategy despite multiple attempts made by the two governments to fix the problems in their ties.

US President Donald Trump said Wednesday he wants a “great relationship” with Pakistan and is looking forward to meeting the new leadership in that country.

In November 2018, a row that began with Trump’s interview to Fox News had led to a series of tweets by both the US head of state and PM Khan. President Trump, while talking about the reasons for ending the over a billion dollar annual aid for Pakistan at the beginning of the year, had said the country didn’t do “a damn thing for us”.

Read more: I did not join PTI because Imran Khan was a weak…

Imran Khan was sworn in as Pakistan’s Prime Minister in August last year. The cricketer turned politician had said in January last year that meeting US President Trump would be a “bitter pill” to swallow should he become Pakistan’s prime minister in elections later that year, but added “I would meet him.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had met Prime Minister Khan in Islamabad in September last year and pressed him to take “sustained and decisive measures” against terrorists threatening the regional peace and stability.

Just a month ago, Donald Trump had written a letter to Mr. Khan, seeking Pakistan’s help with stuttering Afghan peace talks and support in bringing the Taliban to the negotiating table to end the 17-year brutal war in the neighbouring country.


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