Pak hosts virtual meeting of representatives of Afghanistan’s neighbours

PTI, Sep 5, 2021, 7:45 PM IST

Islamabad: Pakistan on Sunday hosted a virtual meeting of the special representatives and envoys of Afghanistan’s neighbouring countries, including China and Iran, during which the participants agreed that peace in the war-torn nation is crucial for security and stability of the region.

The meeting chaired by Pakistan”s Special Representative for Afghanistan Mohammad Sadiq was attended by representatives of China, Iran, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, the Foreign Office said in a statement.

“During the meeting, views were exchanged on the latest situation in Afghanistan,” it said.

Ambassador Sadiq, welcoming his counterparts, highlighted the importance of evolving a regional approach to address common challenges and to realise the new opportunities arising from a stable Afghanistan, it said.

He added that a prosperous and peaceful Afghanistan would provide impetus to economic integration, strong people-to-people linkages, enhanced trade, and regional connectivity.

“Colleagues from Iran, China, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, were unanimous that peace in Afghanistan is vital for security, stability and prosperity of the entire region,” Sadiq said.

The Special Representatives/Envoys of neighbours of Afghanistan agreed to remain in close contact.

The meeting took place days after Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi last month visited Iran, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan and also interacted with officials of China to discuss the situation in Afghanistan.

Pakistan has maintained that an inclusive government should be set up after the Taliban takeover last month to end the bloodshed and bring peace.

The meeting also comes a day after the Taliban on Saturday postponed the formation of a new government in Afghanistan for next week. The insurgent group is struggling to give shape to a broad-based and inclusive administration acceptable to the international community.

The Taliban seized power in Afghanistan on August 15, two weeks before the US was set to complete its troop withdrawal after a costly two-decade war.

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