Trump administration officials will suspend security assistance to Pakistan amid a dispute over Pakistan's handling of groups like the Taliban and the Haqqani network, the State Department said on Thursday.
"We will not be delivering military equipment or transferring security funds to Pakistan unless it's required by law," State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters on Thursday.
President Trump had taken to Twitter earlier this week to criticize Pakistan over its alleged tolerance of terrorists seeking sanctuary in its borders. The administration had suspended $255 million in foreign military assistance in August, Nauert said, but the latest announcement means the U.S. will withhold even more aid from the country.
"This is something that should not come as a surprise to Pakistan because the president, Secretary [of State Rex] Tillerson and [Defense] Secretary [Jim] Mattis had conversations with Pakistani officials alerting them to our concerns that Pakistan has not done enough to detain, to take care of — and when I say take care of, I mean round up — terrorists and militant groups operating out of Pakistan," Nauert said.
The State Department spokeswoman was unable to provide a specific figure for the amount the administration plans to withhold.
But the announcement Thursday marked an escalation in Trump's campaign to pressure Pakistan into cooperating more consistently with U.S. forces and allies in the region to combat terrorists moving through the area.