ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Russia on Tuesday agreed to continue coordinating their positions on efforts for peace in Afghanistan.
The understanding was reached during Russian Special Representative on Afghanistan Ambassador Zamir Kabulov’s meetings with Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua.
Mr Kabulov was in Islamabad for consultations on regional political situation and the Afghan peace process.
Pakistan has renewed efforts for facilitating the peace process in Afghanistan. The United States and Taliban last week held six-day-long negotiations after which both sides claimed significant progress although some issues still remain to be resolved.
Mr Qureshi in his meeting with Mr Kabulov underscored that Pakistan was facilitating the ongoing talks between the US and the Taliban as a shared responsibility and in good faith and hoped that the talks would lead to an intra-Afghan dialogue.
The Taliban have since the start of negotiations with the US refused to talk to the Afghan government until Washington committed to a clear withdrawal plan.
Amb Kabulov noted that Russia and Pakistan were important stakeholders in peace and stability in Afghanistan and it was in their shared interest to support all efforts for peace and stability there through their close coordination.
“The two sides agreed to continue regular consultations on Afghan peace process and support regional initiatives to bring lasting peace in Afghanistan and the region,” a Foreign Office statement said.
Foreign Minister Qureshi later left for a visit to Muscat, Oman.
During his two-day trip to Oman, the minister will attend the meeting of Pak-Oman Joint Ministerial Commission. He would also be meeting Omani Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi and deputy prime minister Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmoud al Said.
Mr Qureshi, in his pre-departure statement, said he would take the Omani leadership into confidence regarding the situation in Afghanistan.
He would also meet Pakistanis living in Oman.
Published in Dawn, January 30th, 2019