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Pakistan to host Troika summit for talks on Afghanistan crisis

AT News

KABUL: Pakistan says it will host the “Troika Plus” summit with presence of the United States, China and Russia on Thursday, aimed at discussing Afghanistan crisis, reports said on Wednesday.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and its National Security Advisor Moeed Yusuf will chair the ‘Troika Plus’ meeting.

Taliban’s foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi has also been invited to the meeting, Islamabad has confirmed to VOA news agency.

U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Thomas West and his Russian, Chinese and Pakistani counterparts will lead their respective delegations at the talks in Pakistan.

Leaders are expected to reiterate international calls for the Taliban to ensure inclusivity in the political governance in Kabul and protect rights of all Afghans, including women and minorities.

Pakistani officials said Muttaqi will arrive in the country Wednesday as the head of a high-level ministerial delegation and will hold wide-ranging bilateral talks with counterparts in Islamabad, before joining the multilateral meeting the day after.

Thursday’s troika plus meeting comes amid United Nations calls for donor nations to scale up humanitarian assistance for Afghanistan, saying more than half of the country’s estimated 40 million people is likely to face acute hunger this winter.

Moscow hosted the last troika plus talks in October but Washington stayed away from the meeting, citing logistical reasons. A day before the talks in Moscow, the then-U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, had resigned and officials said his successor, West, was not prepared to attend the Moscow huddle.

West left Washington earlier in the week on his first trip to Europe and Asia to discuss the way forward on Afghanistan with allies and partners. He told reporters in Brussels on Monday that he will be visiting Pakistan later this week but shared no further details.

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