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Pakistan, Turkey to work for peace in Afghanistan

September 13, 2017
ANKARA: Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif shakes hands with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan prior to their meeting on Tuesday.—AP
ANKARA: Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif shakes hands with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan prior to their meeting on Tuesday.—AP

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Turkey on Tuesday vowed to work together for peace and stability in Afgha­nistan, said the Foreign Office here at the conclusion of Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif’s visit to Ankara.

Mr Asif was in Turkey on the third leg of his outreach for consultations with like-minded countries in the region in the aftermath of the announcement of the new US policy on Afghanis­tan and South Asia.

In Ankara, the foreign minister met Turkish Presi­dent Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister Benali Yil­dirim and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavusoglu.

He had earlier visited Beijing and Tehran. Both countries had rejected the new US policy soon after its announcement.

Mr Asif will later meet his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York.

The talks in Ankara were focused on Afghanistan and what was described as “deepening mutual coordination on regional peace, security and connectivity”. The two sides, moreover, discussed bilateral relations.

“Emphasising that lasting peace in Afghanistan was important for stability in the region, they [the two sides] agreed that Pakistan and Turkey would continue to work together for peace and stability in Afghanistan,” the FO statement noted.

During their talks, the two foreign ministers agreed that there was no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan and reiterated that Afghanistan’s neighbours and regional countries needed to work together for facilitating a politically negotiated settlement under an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.

Published in Dawn, September 13th, 2017