U.S Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Pakistan Wednesday where he is expected to meet with the country’s new prime minster in an effort to curb strained relations between the two countries.
Pompeo’s goal to “reset” the uneasy relationship could be complicated by the appointment of veteran diplomat Zalmay Khalilzad as the special advisor on reconciliation in Afghanistan.
An Afghan native, Khalilzad’s job will be to bring the Taliban and Afghan government together toward rapprochement.
“He has been very critical of Pakistan in the past and his appointment will not help move things forward,” said Zahid Hussain, a defense analyst and author of two books on militancy in the region.
Khalilzad previously served under George W. Bush as the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan and Iraq and as a U.N. ambassador.
While in Pakistan, Pompeo will meet with Prime Minister Imran Khan as well as the country’s foreign minister and army chief.
Later in the day, he will leave for India where Afghanistan and bringing an end to the war are likely to be discussed.
The Associated Press contributed to this report