Press Trust of india

Pakistan welcomes new round of talks between the US, Taliban in UAE

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Islamabad, Dec 17 :  Pakistan on Monday welcomed a new round of talks sponsored by it between the Taliban and US officials, in the United Arab Emirates, in an attempt to end the bloodshed in neighbouring war-torn Afghanistan.

Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said on Twitter that the latest round of talks were being held in the UAE.

He also said Pakistan along-with the international community and other stake-holders was committed to peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan to end the 17-year war.

"Along with international community and other stake-holders, Pakistan is committed to peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan. Talks are being held in the UAE. We hope this will end bloodshed in Afghanistan and bring peace to the region," Faisal tweeted.

The Taliban on Monday said that they were holding "another" meeting with US officials in the UAE, which also include representatives of Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the UAE.

According to diplomatic sources, Pakistan had helped in arranging the direct talks between the US and Taliban, creating a ray of hope for end of conflict, after US President Donald Trump wrote a letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan, earlier this month, formally seeking Islamabad's help in arranging the talks with Taliban.

US special peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, reportedly, already held two rounds of talks with Taliban leaders in Qatar.

This is the second time that Pakistan has arranged direct talks between the US and Taliban representatives after a similar initiative fell apart after an open meeting in 2015 at the hill resort of Murree, near Islamabad.

Khan, after taking office in August, had made it clear that Pakistan wanted to establish peaceful ties with all its neighbours.

Trump had earlier this year accused Pakistan of doing nothing despite take billions of dollars from the US. Washington had also suspended millions of dollars in military aid to Islamabad.

In one of the America's longest war,  the US has spent over USD 1 trillion in Afghanistan since the coalition forces ousted the Taliban in 2001.

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