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Iran, Pakistan agree to increase cooperation in Afghanistan

AT News

KABUL: As U.S. troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan have agreed to enhance cooperation on bringing stability to the war-torn country, amid a rivalry of regional powers to expand their footprint with the vacuum left by the US withdrawal.

Media reports said Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif reached the agreement during a meeting on the sidelines of the Antalya Diplomacy Forum in Turkey.

The top Pakistani official emphasized on strengthening mutual cooperation with Iran to help restore stability to Afghanistan as war continues to rage.

In an interview with TRT World, the minister said Pakistan had been engaged constructively for peace and stability in Afghanistan and would continue to do so. He called peace and stability in Afghanistan ‘a shared responsibility’ and that no country “should pass the buck to Pakistan”.

“Pakistan is one regional player. There are other global players and there are other interests that are paramount in the region,” he remarked.

He said Pakistan wanted to see progress in the Afghan peace process and the withdrawal of foreign troops in tandem. But, he believed there is an imbalance as the U.S. troop withdrawal is taking place at a rapid pace against the slow process of peace talks.

This is as the Kabul government has long accused Pakistan’s government and its intelligence service agencies for supporting Taliban insurgents operating in Afghanistan.

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