Pakistan, U.S. call for intra-Afghan dialogue during U.S. envoy visit

Source: Xinhua| 2019-01-18 01:13:54|Editor: yan
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ISLAMABAD, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- Pakistan and the United States called for intra-Afghan dialogue on Thursday to find out a solution to the conflict in Afghanistan, officials said.

Both sides reached the understanding as U.S. Special Representative for Afghan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad held a delegation level meeting with Pakistan Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua in Islamabad to discuss developments in the Afghan reconciliation process, the foreign ministry said.

Khalilzad was accompanied by an inter-agency delegation representing Departments of Defense, State and National Security Council. Janjua was assisted by senior officials from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defense, the ministry said in a statement.

"Both sides agreed that ultimately the intra-Afghan dialogue would be vital to agree upon the contours of a future Afghan polity where Afghanistan becomes a stable and prosperous country and at peace with its neighbors," it said.

Khalilzad, who briefed the Pakistan side on his recent engagements in the region, lauded Pakistan's efforts in facilitating direct talks between Taliban and the U.S. in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, last month, the foreign ministry said.

"The Foreign Secretary reiterated Pakistan's commitment to facilitate Afghan reconciliation process to realize the shared goal of peace and stability in the region," it said.

Taliban and the U.S. started talks in July 2018 in Qatar, and later the two sides held at least two rounds of talks. However, both sides have not yet reached any agreement, and the Taliban are urging Washington to announce a timeframe for the withdrawal of its troops.

The Unite States still has nearly 14,000 troops in Afghanistan and the U.S. media reported last month that the President Donald Trump plans to withdraw half of the troops.