U.S. special envoy holds talks with Pakistani FM on Afghan peace process

Source: Xinhua| 2020-07-02 00:52:56|Editor: huaxia

ISLAMABAD, July 1 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad held talks with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi here on Wednesday on the peace process in Afghanistan, the Foreign Ministry of Pakistan said.

Khalilzad's visit to Pakistan, the second one in a month, was part of his regular engagement for consultations and exchange of views on the Afghan peace and reconciliation process, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Qureshi welcomed the latest developments including announcements on formation of a negotiating team and establishment of the High Council for National Reconciliation by the Afghan government for the negotiations with the Taliban, according to the statement.

"He (Qureshi) urged that all sides should make earnest efforts for reduction in violence. He also emphasized that it was important not to let the spoilers undermine or derail the process of intra-Afghan negotiations," the statement said.

The Pakistani foreign minister expressed the hope that release of prisoners would be completed soon to pave the way for the earliest commencement of intra-Afghan negotiations.

Under the Taliban-U.S. agreement signed on Feb. 29, the Afghan government would release 5,000 Taliban prisoners and the Taliban would free 1,000 prisoners of the government. The slow pace of the release of prisoners has delayed the intra-Afghan dialogue, which was scheduled to start on March 10.

He also raised the issue of Afghan refugees in Pakistan and underlined the role of the international community for a time-bound and well-resourced roadmap for the return of Afghan refugees to their homeland with dignity and honor.

The statement said Khalilzad expressed condolences on the loss of lives in the terrorist attack on Pakistan Stock Exchange in Karachi on Monday and extended U.S. support. Enditem