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Improved Af-Pak ties key to regional stability: Khalilzad

AT News Report

KABUL: US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad has welcomed recent meeting between President Ashraf Ghani and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on the sidelines of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting in Saudi Arabia.

“Welcome the news that President Ashraf Ghani and Prime Minister Imran Khan met on the margins of OIC Summit. Improved Afghanistan-Pakistan ties are key to reaching, implementing and capitalizing on opportunities for regional connectivity, integration and development. US stands ready to assist the Afghan peace process,” Khalilzad said in a tweet message.

According to the Presidential Palace, Ghani and Khan discussed the Afghan peace process and bilateral relations.  

Khan assured Ghani that Islamabad will support Kabul in bringing peace and stability in Afghanistan, the Pakistani Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement. 

“Prime Minister Imran Khan reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to a peaceful and stable Afghanistan. He also underlined Pakistan’s firm support for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process for political solution in Afghanistan,” the statement said.

The statement added that Ghani and Khan will further discuss security and economic issues in the forthcoming visit of the Afghan president to Islamabad. 

Moreover, President Donald Trump’s point man on Afghanistan Khalilzad is due in Islamabad for talks on ways of breaking a stalemate in peace talks with the Taliban.

Special Envoy for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad will arrive in the Pakistani capital on Sunday, a news report said on Saturday.  

Daily Times quoted well-placed sources as saying the American diplomat would seek cooperation from Pakistan on expediting peace negotiations with the Taliban.

Khalilzad has held six rounds of dialogue with political representatives of the insurgent movement in Qatar since October. However, they have failed to reach any agreement.

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