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Khalilzad reiterates need to accelerate intra-Afghan talks

AT News Report

KABUL: US officials who were in Afghan peace mission in Pakistan from 29 to 30 concluded their visit, where they held talks with Pakistani officials and both sides have agreed to continue their cooperation on bringing peace and reconciliation to Afghanistan.

The aimed behind Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad visit to Islamabad was to hold discussions with Pakistani leadership on developments in the Afghan peace process.

Ambassasor Khalilzad met Pakistan Foreign Secretary and other officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as the country’s Chief of Army Staff Bajwa and senior military officials, US embassy in Islamabad said in a statement on Tuesday.

Khalilzad expressed his appreciation for Prime Minister Khan’s recent remarks in support of the peace process and broader vision for stability and prosperity in the region.

Ambassador Khalilzad requested and received support for the need to accelerate intra-Afghan dialogue and negotiations as well as a reduction in violence, concrete steps necessary for a comprehensive settlement, the statement added.

Khalilzad reiterated that an end to the war will bring long overdue peace and stability for Afghans and an independent Afghanistan that precludes it from being used by terrorists to attack the United States or any other country. 

In addition, peace holds particular significance for the region by facilitating regional economic integration. 

According to Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman, during meetings US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice Wells commended Islamabad’s efforts for regional peace.

“The two US officials are visiting Islamabad as part of regular consultations on Afghan peace process, Pakistan-US bilateral relationship and regional security situation,” said the Foreign Office (FO) in a statement.

“The two sides reviewed recent developments regarding the Afghan peace process. It was underlined that this was a historic opportunity to end the prolonged Afghan conflict for which all Afghan stakeholders as well as Afghanistan’s neighbours had an important role to play,” FO added.

The Pakistani delegation reiterated support for intra-Afghan dialogue. They also highlighted the need for an enabling environment in Afghanistan for the early return of Afghan refugees to their homeland.

Moreover, Pakistani president Arif Alvi said that Kabul and Islamabad have suffered a lot due to poverty, extremism and terrorism.

“Let’s act together against these common enemies. Afghanistan deserves peace and a huge rebuilding process awaits you.”

Pakistan desired peace and prosperity in Afghanistan and would continue extending all-out support for the reconstruction of the neighbouring country, he added.

“You are the elite and privileged ones. You have been given the opportunity to study in Pakistan. Go back to your country with better education and skills,” said the president.

Rahimullah Qatra, Afghan charge’ d’ affaires, said: “We are grateful to the government of Pakistan and HEC for awarding scholarships to Afghan students.”

The scholarship program encouraged the Afghans to study in Pakistan and become ambassadors of Pakistan in their country, he said.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to Afghanistan Zahid Nasrullah Khan told the audience his country attached high priority to people-to-people contacts between the neighbours.

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