Pakistan acknowledges Iran’s role in Afghan peace process

Islamabad, Jan 3, IRNA -- Pakistan, acknowledging Iran’s role in Afghan peace process, has said that regional consensus is important for the success and sustainability of reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan.

Pakistan Foreign ministry spokesman Muhammad Faisal, while responding to a question of IRNA at his weekly media briefing in Islamabad on Thursday, said Pakistan believes that neighbors of Afghanistan should be on board to play a role for Afghan peace process.

“On the request of the US and Afghanistan, Pakistan is facilitating peace talks between the US and the Taliban. Pakistan has always maintained that Afghanistan neighbors and important regional countries should be on board to play a role for Afghan peace process,” he said.

The spokesperson added that regional consensus on Afghan peace process is important and we have seen reports about Iran-Taliban talks. “In recent months we have seen engagements of Taliban with various countries and their participations in international conferences,” he said.

Muhammad Faisal to a question said Pakistan government maintains a policy of outreach in region. “Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi visited Afghanistan, Iran, China, Russia and Qatar. FM held consultations with the leadership of these countries on strengthening bilateral relations and expanding mutually beneficial economic and development cooperation,” he said.

The spokesperson went on to say that Pakistani foreign minister also exchanged views on the regional political situation as well as recent developments in Afghan peace process.

He said foreign minister briefed his interlocutors about Pakistan’s efforts to facilitate direct talks between the US and Afghanistan.

“We underline importance of support of relevant regional countries for the success and sustainability of the Afghan peace process. We emphasize close and regular coordination among Afghanistan’s neighbors and the relevant regional countries to assist the ongoing efforts to achieve a broader regional understanding for long term stability in Afghanistan and the region,” Muhammad Faisal noted.

He added that these countries agreed that such interaction is necessary to devise consensus based approach for wider regional peace and development.

“Pakistan will continue its outreach to regional countries and important international partners for mutually beneficial cooperation and to advance peace reconciliation process,” the spokesperson said.

He added Pakistan desires that peace returns to Afghanistan allowing the return of refugees and beginning of an era of prosperity and normalcy in the region.

Muhammad Faisal completely rejected the US media report that Pakistan had quietly dispatched 1,000 soldiers in war against Yemen. “I completely reject the report,” he said.

To another question the spokesperson said Pakistan does not recognizes Zionist Regime.

Foreign ministry spokesperson on the statement made by US President Donald Trump that he looks forward to meet the new Pakistani leadership said President
Donald Trump's remarks are indeed a departure from his 1st January 2018 tweet.

Trump has been consistent in his criticism of Pakistan since he launched his South Asia and Afghanistan strategy despite multiple attempts made by the two governments to fix the problems in their ties.

In November 2018, a row that began with Trump's interview to US media had led to a series of tweets by both the US head of state and Prime Minister Imran Khan.
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