Afghanistan, Pakistan and US agree on resumption of peace process

Published December 10, 2015
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, assisted by aides of both sides. ─APP
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, assisted by aides of both sides. ─APP

ISLAMABAD: Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States (US) on Wednesday agreed to explore and encourage all efforts for dialogue between the Afghanistan's government and Taliban groups.

Peace and reconciliation remained the surest way to end violence and ensure stability in Afghanistan and the region, said a statement issued following a trilateral meeting held here on Wednesday at Prime Minister House on the sidelines of Heart of Asia conference.

According to Foreign Office, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States in the meeting expressed their commitment to accelerate diplomatic and political efforts to put an end to the conflict in Afghanistan.

In the trilateral meeting, Pakistan's side was led by Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz. Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry and Director General Afghan Affairs Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mansoor Ahmad Khan were also present.

From Afghan side President Ashraf Ghani led his delegation while their Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani, National Security Adviser Hanif Atmar and Minister of Finance Akleel Ahmad were also present on the occasion.

The US side was led by US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blenkin while US Ambassador David Hale, US Special Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Olson and Ms Laurel Miller were present in the meeting.

The aim of the peace process will be to negotiate in good faith to resolve outstanding issues, build on areas of agreement and develop a lasting solution that meets the needs of all Afghans, said the statement.

The three countries agreed to work to create conditions that encourage participation of Taliban groups in a peace process that demonstrates to them that they have a real option of political engagement.

Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States committed to peruse the start of peace talks immediately.

Related: Gen Raheel meets Afghan president, assures support against terrorism

Afghanistan and Pakistan agreed to prevent their territory to be used by any violent extremist group or third party and acknowledged that those who refused to join a political resolution of the conflict in Afghanistan must be opposed with all means available. The United States committed to supporting these efforts.

The three countries agreed that safeguarding Afghanistan's sovereignty, unity, independence, territorial integrity, and Islamic character as a democratic republic were fundamental to resolving the current conflict.

They agreed that the legitimacy of the Afghan state and the legitimacy of Afghanistan's constitution must be fully respected.

Also Read: Ghani thunders, Swaraj diplomatic at 'Heart of Asia' conference in capital

Pakistan had hosted a meeting was hosted between the Afghan Government and Afghan Taliban representatives in Murree on 7 July 2015 along with the representatives from China and USA.

The participants were duly mandated by their respective leadership and expressed their collective desire to bring peace to Afghanistan and the region.

The second round of the talks, which was scheduled to be held in Pakistan on 31 July 2015 was postponed in view of the reports regarding the death of Mulla Omar and the leadership crisis among Taliban.

Also Read: Pakistan ready to host next round of Afghan peace talks, says Lodhi at UN

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