Afghanistan’s President will make his first visit to Pakistan in more than a year to mend strained relations and in the hopes that he can enlist the support of the new Pakistani government to help end the nearly 12-year Afghan war, said an official on Sunday.

The two nations have had tense ties for years, and Afghanistan has accused Pakistan of supporting the Taliban in the movement’s fight against the Afghan government.

But the election two months ago of a Prime Minister in Pakistan has raised hopes in Kabul that Islamabad will be more open to helping start peace talks with the Taliban than the previous government, which it perceived to be more hostile to Afghanistan and its President, Hamid Karzai.

Pakistan is seen as a key player in the Afghan peace process, and the U.S. has been trying to enlist its support to help coax the Taliban into peace talks.

Islamabad has ties to the Taliban that date back to the 1990s, and many of the group’s leaders are believed to be detained or living on Pakistani territory.

Afghanistan’s government recently charged that Pakistan had floated the idea of a power-sharing deal with the Taliban, while Mr. Karzai’s chief of staff went so far as to suggest that a recently opened Taliban office in the Gulf state of Qatar was a plot by Pakistan or the U.S. to break up the country. — AP