US, Pakistan reaffirm shared Afghan peace desire
WASHINGTON/KABUL (Pajhwok): Ahead of the next round of talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government, the United States and Pakistan on Tuesday reaffirmed their shared desire for achieving lasting peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.
Pakistan and China show their interest to be ‘guarantors’ for a peace deal between the Afghan government and the Afghan Taliban.
Pakistan, in the presence of United States and China, hosted direct peace talks between Afghan officials and Taliban representatives earlier this month.
The second round of the peace talks is expected soon but the venue has not been confirmed so far.
About a week ago, President Ashraf Ghani on a visit to southeastern Khost province said the next round of talks with the Taliban would take place over the next three weeks. He said the next round would discuss Taliban’s demands.
In his Eid message, Ghani had said negotiations with the Taliban were the only way to "end the bloodshed" and bring peace to the country, welcoming Taliban supreme leader Mullah Omar’s Eid message, in which he had endorsed the peace talks.
On Tuesday, US national security advisor Susan Rice met Tariq Fatemi, special assistant to the Pakistani Prime Minister on foreign affairs, at the White House.
Afghanistan, particularly the peace and reconciliation efforts, were one of the major topics came up for discussion between the two officials.
They “reaffirmed” their shared desire for “continued close coordination” to realise peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan, according to a statement from the Pakistani Embassy in Washington.
Fatemi is on an official visit to the United States to meet senior US officials and members of the Congress.
At the White House meeting, Fatemi and Rice reviewed the current state of Pakistan-US bilateral relations and expressed their full satisfaction at the positive trajectory of the relationship.
They also discussed the evolving regional scenario and how the two countries could cooperate to achieve their shared goals, the official statement said.
“Rice particularly appreciated Pakistan's positive approach and outreach to its neighbors as part of the Prime Minister's vision of a peaceful neighborhood. This, she noted, would go a long way in achieving enduring peace and stability in the region,” the statement said.
Acknowledging Pakistan's immense sacrifices in the war against terrorism, Rice appreciated its commitment to eliminate the menace. In this context, Rice expressed the United States' unremitting support for accelerated regional economic development through enhanced cooperation between the countries of South Asia.
While recognising the significance of continued high-level engagements between the two countries, both sides agreed to work closely to sustain and further build the momentum in high-level exchanges to further solidify mutual trust and confidence between the two countries.
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