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Abdullah meets Pakistan, Iran FMs on peace efforts

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KABUL: Afghanistan’s point man for peace Dr. Abdullah Abdullah held separate meetings with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, discussing the Afghan peace process.

The meetings took place on the sidelines of the Antalya Diplomatic Assembly.

Abdullah and Zarif agreed that there can be no military solution to the Afghan problem and only dialogue and negotiation can resolve the longstanding problem in the war-torn country.

Iranian foreign minister also came out in support of Afghanistan peace process, which is embroiled in an intense limbo, saying the solution to the Afghan dilemma lies in dialogue and negotiation.

In a meeting in Turkey with the Chairman of Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, the Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif stressed his country’s support for peace efforts in Afghanistan and said that there was no military solution to the Afghan problem and that Iran is in favor of resolving the problem through negotiation and dialogue.

According to a statement, Zarif stressed Iran’s support for peace efforts in Afghanistan and given that there is no military solution to the Afghan problem, his country is in favor of resolving the problem through negotiation and dialogue.

 “If the Taliban think they can take control of Afghanistan militarily, it is a miscalculation,” Abdullah said, adding that Afghanistan stands ready to seize the opportunity to end the war and bloodshed through dialogue and negotiation, and that it is the responsibility of the Taliban not to miss this opportunity.

Abdullah in a meeting with the Pakistani Foreign Minister discussed the Afghan peace process. The Pakistan Embassy in a statement said that Qureshi reaffirmed Pakistan’s policy of maintaining the broad engagement with Afghan political leadership to forge deeper mutual understanding on the bilateral relations and the Afghan peace process.

“​The Foreign Minister highlighted Pakistan’s meaningful contribution to facilitate the direct talks between U.S. and Taliban as well as the Afghan parties. He reiterated that it was now up to the Afghan leaders to seize the historic opportunity afforded by the Intra-Afghan Negotiations for an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive settlement. He urged the Afghan leaders to expedite progress in Intra-Afghan Negotiations for lasting peace in Afghanistan,” the statement added.

It is noteworthy that Abdullah arrived in Antalya on Thursday at the invitation of the Turkish government to attend the meeting of the Diplomatic Assembly of Antalya.

Topics such as regional peace, humanitarian approaches to asylum seekers and migrants, stability in the Middle East and North Africa, the role of women in peacebuilding, the fight against radicalism and discrimination will be discussed in the forum.

Dr. Abdullah Abdullah will address the inaugural session of the forum and will meet with a number of leaders and personalities attending the forum during his stay.

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