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Pakistan terms US, Taliban talks a major diplomatic victory

AT-KABUL: Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Sunday termed the recent negotiations between the United States and the Taliban as a “major diplomatic victory” and claimed his country played a vital role in bringing the Taliban leadership to the table. 

Qureshi welcomed the development and highlighted the role played by Pakistan in the Afghan peace process. “Pakistan played a vital role in bringing the US and the Taliban to the negotiation table,” he said.

“We had decided to move forward with peace. The world has accepted Pakistan’s stance on the peace process.” He also stated peace in the region was not possible without dialogue.

 “Pakistan has pursued a regional outlook by reaching out to different countries and advocating its resolve for a stable and peaceful region.”

Moreover, Pakistan’s Army Spokesman, Asif Ghafoor expressed his desire to a friendly Afghanistan in the region after pullout of US forces.

According to Voice of American News; “This political reconciliation must succeed. … We wish that the U.S. leaves Afghanistan as a friend of the region, not as a failure.”

This comes as US Special Envoy for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad ended his six consecutive days talks with Taliban Qatar-based members, and headed back to Kabul to brief President Ghani over the progress.

Moreover, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hailed what he called “significant progress” made by Khalilzad.  “Encouraging news from [Khalilzad],” Pompeo wrote on his Twitter page.

“The US is serious about pursuing peace, preventing Afghanistan from continuing to be a space for international terrorism and bringing forces home. Working with the Afghan govt and all interested parties, the US seeks to strengthen Afghan sovereignty, independence and prosperity,” Pompeo tweeted.

Meanwhile, Taliban said there were some progress during meetings, but did not confirm reports suggested regarding a prolong ceasefire and direct talks with the Afghan government. The Taliban group continuously rejected meeting Afghan peace delegation, but it keeps meeting US officials over Afghan peace.

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