Afghan-Pak-US talks on Thursday
ISLAMABAD (PAN): A trilateral meeting between Pakistan, Afghanistan and the US is scheduled to take place in Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital, on Thursday, the foreign ministry said on Wednesday.
Representatives from the three countries will be attending the two-day meeting, with peace efforts, reconstruction and economic development in Afghanistan topping the agenda, the ministry in Islamabad said in a statement.
Pakistani Deputy Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani, his Afghan counterpart Javed Lodin and the US special representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan Marc Grossman are slated to attend the talks, it said.
The participants will confer on matters of mutual interest, in addition to Afghan-led peace process, regional economic issues, efforts on counternarcotics and problems facing Afghan refugees in Pakistan.
On the sidelines of the meeting, officials are expected to hold exclusive meetings.
Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan Mohammad Omar Daudzai, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the ongoing peace process would be discussed in Islamabad.
The meeting would also discuss progress on the investigation regarding the assassination of Afghan top peace negotiator Prof. Burhanduddin Rabbani, by a special joint Afghanistan-Pakistan commission.
Rabbani was killed in a suicide attack at his Kabul residence on September 20 last year.
The statement said the high-level group meeting was the first since September talks on the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan, including efforts to involve the Taliban in negotiations.
The work of the "Core Group" of the three countries was affected by the assassination of Rabbani and a cross-border NATO air strike in November that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.
It would be the sixth meeting of the Core Group on April 26-27, the foreign office said. "The meeting would review various issues of common interest, including the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process, economic development, narcotics, return of Afghan refugees and regional connectivity," the statement said.
Pakistan-Afghanistan relations were hit after Afghan officials said elements in Pakistan were behind the assassination of Rabbani.
The two countries also exchanged charges over a string of attacks on Pakistani border posts by Taliban fighters based in Afghan territory. The NATO air strike effectively halted cooperation between Pakistan and the US in efforts to find a solution to the problems in Afghanistan.
Pakistan closed all routes used to ferry supplies to US and foreign troops in Afghanistan and forced American personnel to vacate an airbase.
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