According to reports, both leaders agreed to continue efforts towards a lasting political settlement to end the ongoing war in Afghanistan.
According to Reuters, Khan said that while relations with India were important, the most pressing concern for the discussion was Afghanistan.
“The main issue, of course, is Afghanistan because it concerns the US and Pakistan,” Khan said. “Both of us are interested in peace there and an orderly transition in Afghanistan with talks with the Taliban and the government.” Reuters reported.
The comments come as the US State Department's Alice Wells is in Pakistan on a four-day tour where she will speak about Afghanistan with Pakistani officials.
Wells' trip comes amid warming bilateral relations following meetings last year between President Donald Trump and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Wells is scheduled to discuss with senior government officials in Islamabad issues related to bilateral and regional concerns. She will also hold meetings with civil society representatives during her stay in the country, a State Department spokesperson told VOA in an email.
On Tuesday, a Taliban spokesman Suhain Shaheen told Arab News in a phone conversation that Taliban representatives are holding talks with US negotiators in Qatar to create a “safe atmosphere” for the signing of a peace agreement.
“There had been no discussion on cease-fire since the beginning, but the US proposed reduction in violence and our stance is to provide a safe atmosphere during the days of the agreement,” Shaheed said as quoted by Arab News.
Shaheed, according to Arab News, said that a comprehensive and complete cease-fire would be declared after the peace agreement is signed with the US, ” We will also provide a safe passage to the US and other foreign forces following the deal,” he said.
The reconvened peace talks between the US and the Taliban are progressing, according to a Taliban spokesperson, while the Afghan government still insists on a ceasefire.
Meanwhile, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the reconciled leader of Hizb-e-Islami has called on the Taliban to engage in intra-Afghan talks.
“Let’s get together and find out a solution to the conflict through intra-Afghan talks,” said Hekmatyar.
The former US envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Ambassador Marc Grossman, has said that the Taliban’s decision to reduce violence for some days is potentially a positive move towards the Afghan peace process.
“The fact that the Taliban have decided to at least make public…at least willing to talk about some kind of reduction in violence--- maybe a ceasefire..seven to ten days, that’s potentially a positive thing,” Grossman said in an interview with VOA.
Source : Afghan Voice Agency(AVA)
Wednesday 22 January 2020 11:52