Pakistan to participate in four-party meeting on Afghan peace process in Moscow

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Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal on 23 October 2019  said Pakistan will take part in the upcoming round of a four-party meeting on the Afghan peace process, scheduled to be held in Moscow. During a weekly press briefing, Dr Faisal said the FO's additional secretary for Afghanistan/West Asia will represent Pakistan at the meeting. "Pakistan has been a part of all efforts and processes so far to discuss and facilitate peace and reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan. "Pakistan's role is particularly noteworthy in crystalising international convergence for a peaceful resolution in Afghanistan," the FO spokesperson said. In July, a round of the four-party meeting on the Afghan peace process was held in the Chinese capital. This had been the third meeting of the trilateral forum, which includes China, Russia, and the United States, but the first in which Pakistan was also involved.

(US, Russia, China, Pakistan favour permanent ceasefire in Afghanistan: Khalilzad)

At the time, US reconciliation envoy Zalmay Khalilzad had said the US, Russia, China and Pakistan had endorsed the need for a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire in Afghanistan, which should start simultaneously with the intra-Afghan talks. However, last month, US President Donald Trump had halted the talks with the Taliban. Earlier this month, a high-level Afghan Taliban delegation visited Pakistan. The visit had coincided with Khalilzad's trip to Islamabad. In response to a question regarding the upcoming talks, Dr Faisal today said: "The next round is being held in Moscow at an opportune moment as it would provide an important opportunity to review the currently stalled peace process." He added that Pakistan will continue its efforts of "wholehearted support as its part of shared responsibility for making the international peace efforts successful in Afghanistan". The spokesperson was also asked about the intra-Afghan dialogue being held in China. "China has invited a delegation [...] to participate in the intra-Afghan dialogue," a Taliban spokesman, Suhail Shaheen, had said in a post on Twitter late on Tuesday. However, Dr Faisal said that he did not have any update on this.

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