Pakistan assures Zalmay Khalilzad to continue efforts for Afghan peace talks

Pakistan assures Zalmay Khalilzad to continue efforts for Afghan peace talks

Islamabad (Staff Report): US special envoy on Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad on Friday met Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

During the meeting, Pakistan assured the United States that Islamabad would keep up efforts to facilitate the Afghanistan-owned peace process.

“US Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad called on FM Shah Mahmood Qureshi at MoFA. He briefed FM Qureshi on his recent engagements in the region for Afghan peace and reconciliation process. The FM assured Amb Khalizad of Pakistan's support for the peace process,” Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal said in tweet.

Zalmay is in Pakistan on a two-week-long tour of Afghanistan, China and India. The envoy is accompanied by a US interagency delegation representing the Departments of Defence and State, and the National Security Council.

The envoy, who met Taliban representatives last month in Abu Dhabi, travelled to Afghanistan as well as China and India as part of the four-nation trip which ends January 21.

Zalmay Khalilzad's visit comes after US President Donald Trump signalled he would bring home half of the 14,000 US troops in Afghanistan as he grows increasingly impatient over America´s longest-ever war.

Meanwhile, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani called Prime Minister Imran Khan to discuss the recent efforts for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.

The Afghan president expressed his gratitude for Pakistan's sincere facilitation of these efforts, initiated by the US Special Representative for Peace and Reconciliation in Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad.

Prime Minister Imran Khan assured President Ghani that Pakistan was making sincere efforts for a negotiated settlement of the conflict in Afghanistan through an inclusive peace process as part of shared responsibility.

Both leaders invited each other to visit their respective countries. They also agreed to remain engaged and create an environment for resolving all outstanding issues.