US seeks ‘assurances’ from Islamabad, Kabul for consolidating Afghan peace- Samaa Digital

 

The consolidation of peace in Afghanistan will require “reliable assurances” from Kabul and Islamabad that neither side’s territory is used to threaten the other’s, the US Embassy in Pakistan said in a statement Friday.

The statement by the US embassy came as US special envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad completed his two-day visit to Islamabad.

The US special envoy held meetings with Prime Minister Imran Khan, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, and Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

Ambassador Khalilzad held discussions with Pakistani leadership on developments in the Afghan peace process, according to the statement. He outlined the positive momentum in the Afghan peace process and next steps.

They also discussed the role Pakistan has played in support of the process and “additional positive steps Pakistan can take”, it said.

“As Ambassador Khalilzad discussed in Afghanistan and Pakistan, consolidating peace will require reliable assurances from Afghanistan and Pakistan that neither side’s territory is used to threaten the other’s,” the embassy said further in its statement.

“Such assurances on top of an intra-Afghan comprehensive peace agreement will allow for increased regional economic integration, connectivity, and development.”

Khalilzad, the US special envoy leading America’s push for peace in Afghanistan, is expected to meet the Taliban in Doha this weekend for the latest in a months-long series of talks, with expectations high.

A peace deal between the US and the Taliban would be built around the premise that America and other foreign forces would slash their Afghanistan presence.

The United States sees Pakistan as a key player in the Afghan peace process. President Donald Trump said last month that Pakistan was helping the US advance the Afghanistan peace process.

Trump’s comments came during Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Washington. He also offered to mediate the Kashmir dispute between Pakistan and India.

Khan said in Washington that Pakistan and the United States are on the “same page” with regard to finding a solution to 18-year-old war in Afghanistan.

“Fortunately, everyone knows now, people understand,” Khan said. “Why I think we have the best relationship with the US now, because we are all on the same page.

“Pakistani state, our forces and the US are all on the same page,” he said, adding that peace could only be restored in Afghanistan through a political solution.

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