【今年青龙报料今期_今年今期港台神算图】U.S. suspending security assistance to Pakistan: State Department

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WASHINGTON, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- U.S. State Department announced on Thursday that the nation is suspending its security assistance to Pakistan.

State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a press briefing that the suspension of military equipment or transfer of security-related funds will continue "until the Pakistani Government takes decisive action against groups, including the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network."

Washington accused these groups of "destabilizing the region and also targeting U.S. personnel" inside Pakistan "despite a sustained high-level engagement by this administration with the Government of Pakistan."

Besides military equipment and the transfer of security-related funds, the U.S.-Pakistan Coalition Support Fund, which has been used to reimburse Pakistan for the money they spent on counterterror operations, will also suspended.

However, she said "there may be some exemptions that are made on a case-by-base basis if they're determined to be critical to national security interests," and the suspension will not last "forever."

"Pakistan has the ability to get this money back, if you will, in the future, but they have to take decisive action. They have to take decisive steps," she noted. "They aren't taking the steps that they need to take in order to fight terrorism ... we have been clear with Pakistan what they need to do."

She also said that although the exact sum of the assistance is still being figured out, the total figure will be more than 255 billion U.S. dollars.

U.S. President Donald Trump and the White House have engaged in hawkish statements against Pakistan since the beginning of 2018, accusing Islamabad of not doing enough to support the U.S. anti-terrorism initiative in Afghanistan but providing "safe havens" to terrorists that the United States are hunting down.

Bilateral relations have been sour since Washington released its so-called new South Asia strategy and suspended its military assistance of 255 billion U.S. dollars to the Asian country.

In response, Pakistan summoned the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan late Monday to lodge a protest, saying Pakistan has taken action against all militant groups without any discrimination and its sacrifices are being ignored.