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Pompeo speaks with Pakistani PM on ties, Afghanistan

WASHINGTON, Aug.  (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke on Thursday over phone with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan to discuss bilateral ties and the Afghanistan issue.

Pompeo wished the Pakistani leader success and expressed his willingness to work with Pakistan's new government toward a "productive" bilateral relationship, according to a statement issued by U.S. State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert.

During the conversation, Pompeo "raised the importance of Pakistan taking decisive action against all terrorists operating in Pakistan and its vital role in promoting the Afghan peace process."

Earlier on Aug. 18, the State Department said that Washington recognized and welcomed newly-elected Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, when the cricket star-turned-politician took office on the day.

"The United States looks forward to working with Pakistan's new civilian government to promote peace and prosperity in Pakistan and the region," it said.

Imran Khan took office as Pakistan's prime minister on Aug. 18, after his party emerged as the single largest party in the July 25 parliamentary elections of the country.

The Pakistan-U.S. relationship has been tense following U.S. President Donald Trump's Tweet on Jan. 1 in which he accused Pakistan of giving "lies & deceit" to the U.S. side and "safe haven" to terrorists despite receiving U.S. aid.

Pakistan rejected the U.S. claims, insisting Washington's aid was reimbursement of the part of cost of ground facilities and air corridors used for U.S. operations in Afghanistan, and not any financial aid or assistance.

The Pakistani side also rejected U.S. accusation of supporting Afghan Taliban.