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Khalilzad in Pakistan to push Afghan peace efforts

AT News Report

KABUL: US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad, who is in Islamabad as part of his multi-nation trip on Afghan peace, met with Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Friday, Pakistani media reported.

During meeting Qureshi told Khalizad that intra-Afghan dialogue is a key component of the Afghan reconciliation process.

Khalilzad, who arrived in Islamabad after wrapping up a five-day trip to Afghanistan, held meetings with Pakistan officials just one day after he said that Pakistan must change its policy toward Afghanistan.

Khalilzad on Thursday warned Pakistan to change its policy towards Afghanistan; otherwise, “Islamabad and Washington’s ties will not improve”.

Khalilzad made the remarks while talking to a number of youths from Bamiyan, Jawzjan and Parwan provinces in a video conference. 

The US envoy said that in addition to a possible peace agreement, an agreement should be reached between Afghanistan and Pakistan based on which Pakistan should play a constructive role in Afghanistan. 

During his meeting with Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the US envoy shared updates on his meetings in Afghanistan and the dynamics of the intra-Afghan dialogue, Pakistani’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Qureshi said that Pakistan wishes well for the peace and stability in Afghanistan which would directly benefit Pakistan’s own vision for economic and human development. 

Khalilzad also had delegation level talks with Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua. He was accompanied by an interagency delegation. Janjua was assisted by senior officials from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defense. 

According to the statement, Janjua briefed Khalilzad about a telephonic conversation between Qureshi and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. 

She informed about their mutual interest in further progress on Afghanistan peace efforts and that they agreed to remain engaged to pursue the reconciliation process.

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