Press Trust of india

Khalizad discusses Afghan peace process with Pakistani leaders

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Islamabad, Jun 3 :  US special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad held discussions with the Pakistani leadership, including Prime Minister Imran Khan, on the Afghan peace process and the positive steps that Pakistan can take to advance it.

Afghan-born chief American negotiator Khalilzad has held six rounds of direct talks with Taliban envoys in the Qatari capital of Doha since the process began last fall to bring an end to what has now become the longest US overseas military intervention.

The Pakistani government takes credit for arranging the US-Taliban peace dialogue by using its contacts with the Afghan insurgent group.

The US Embassy in Islamabad in a statement said that Khalilzad visited Islamabad on June 2 and held discussions with the Pakistani leadership on developments in the Afghan peace process.

He met Prime Minister Khan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Additional Secretary Aftab Khokher and Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Bajwa.

“Ambassador Khalilzad briefed Pakistani officials on the substantial progress made in talks over the last month and planned next steps,” according to the statement.

Khalilzad “noted that the United States continues to be encouraged by the role Pakistan has played to advance the peace process”.

He also “discussed additional positive steps that Pakistan can take and the importance of recent efforts for improving US-Pakistan relations”.

Khalilzad and Pakistani officials also discussed the benefit of improved Pakistan-Afghanistan relations in reaching, implementing, and sustaining a durable peace.

Both countries will benefit from the increased regional connectivity, cooperation and integration that peace in Afghanistan offers, it said.

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