Washington: President Donald Trump has said the US' ties with Pakistan have improved after he cut USD 1.3 billion in security assistance to Islamabad for not doing enough to rein in terror groups operating in the country.
President Trump announced last year that the USD 1.3 billion aid to Pakistan would remain suspended till the country did not act against militant safe heavens inside its territory.
In his first tweet of the year last year, Trump said US had "foolishly" given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and got "nothing but lies and deceit" in return.
In September, the Trump administration cancelled USD 300 million in military aid to Islamabad for not doing enough against terror groups active on its soil.
"I cut back USD 1.3 billion a year to Pakistan. When I cut it back, I have a better relationship with - as you know, we have a great relationship. Prime Minister came in," Trump told reporters at Bedminster in New Jersey on Sunday.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan visited the US last month. Trump hosted Khan for a meeting at the White House.
"We have a great relationship with Pakistan now. We had a really good meeting," Trump said, referring to his meeting with Khan.
"So, what happened: I cut back USD 1.3 billion. We have a better relationship now," he said, arguing that foreign aid has little relevance to a relationship with a country.
"I also cut it back on the Palestinians because they speak very badly about our country. So I cut it back on the Palestinians. We were paying USD 500 billion (sic) a year, and now we're paying nothing. I think we're going to get further because I could see opening that up again," Trump said.
Ties between the US and Pakistan strained after Trump, while announcing his Afghanistan and South Asia policy in August 2017, hit out at Pakistan for providing safe havens to "agents of chaos" that kill Americans in Afghanistan and warned Islamabad that it has "much to lose" by harbouring terrorists.