Afghanistan wants US, Pakistan to back peace bid (video)
KABUL, 24 May, 2011 (PAN): Greater support is needed from the United States and Pakistan for consolidating peace in Afghanistan, the Afghan deputy minister of foreign affairs said on Tuesday.
Stability in the war-torn country is in Islamabad's interest, Javed Ludin told reporters in Kabul at the end of trilateral talks with Pakistani and American representatives.
The success of the ongoing reconciliation drive was important to the Afghan government, which needed cooperation from Islamabad and Washington in bringing the effort to fruition, he said.
At the meeting, Ludin said, Pakistan was urged to help Afghans bring armed militants to the negotiating table. "We hope Islamabad would take more meaningful steps in this regard, measures it hasn't adopted so far."
He added they conferred on the overall security situation in the region and greater trade links among the three countries. Joint efforts were required to implement projects such as as pipeline taking natural gas from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to Pakistan and India.
The participants also agreed on cooperation in building rail tracks and roads linking Asian countries, according to the deputy minister, who said the next tripartite session would be held in June in Kabul. He thanked Pakistan for resolving transit trade problems of Afghan businessmen.
US Deputy Ambassador E. Anthony Wayne, calling for a political solution, acknowledged war alone could not bring peace to Afghanistan. He felt certain the recent Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement would benefit both the neighbours.
Renewing Pakistan's commitment to facilitating an Afghan-led reconciliation bid, Bashir said: "It is for the Afghan people to decide how they wish to work out the process."
He rejected the impression his country sought favours from the US in return for backing the Afghan peace campaign. He called stability in Afghanistan a shared responsibility of the US and Pakistan.
The diplomat believed a blame game between Islamabad and Kabul would harm the war on terror. "Both sides are mindful of the fact that trading allegation will take them nowhere."
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