US, Russia, China Welcome Pakistan’s Role In Afghan Peace Process and Final Settlement

The US, China and Russia jointly welcomed Pakistan to the four-party consultation process intended to end the 18-year-old conflict in war-torn Afghanistan, said a joint statement issued by the US Department of State.

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“Pakistan can play an important role in facilitating peace in Afghanistan. Pakistan appreciated the constructive efforts by the China-Russia-US trilateral consultation on the Afghan peace process,” the statement read.

The four sides during a moot held in Beijing on July 10 and 11, shared views on the current security situation and discussed joint efforts that are central to a political settlement to secure peace, stability and prosperity in the region.

Recognising Pakistan’s role in the Afghan peace talks, the four sides collectively urged all parties to take steps to reduce violence leading to a “comprehensive and permanent ceasefire” in the country.

The communique, released after months of peace negotiations in Doha, emphasises the significance of the trilateral consensus on the Afghan settlement reached in Moscow on April 25.

“All sides welcomed recent positive progress as the crucial parties concerned have advanced their talks and increased contacts with each other,” the statement continued.

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During the course of the consultations, the four nations aim to secure “an orderly transition of the security situation and detail an agreement on a future inclusive political arrangement acceptable to all Afghans”.

They re-affirmed negotiations should be ‘Afghan-led and Afghan-owned’ and further agreed that these negotiations should produce a peace framework as soon as possible.

The major diplomatic development comes days after the White House confirmed the visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to the US and his meeting with US President Donald Trump in Washington.

In the July 22 huddle, President Trump and premier Imran shall discuss a range of issues, including counterterrorism, defence, energy, and trade, with the goal of creating the conditions for a peaceful South Asia and an enduring partnership between our two countries.

Sources privy to the development said that the premier would share his perspective on the Afghan endgame as well as how to build trust between the two countries.

The Foreign Office maintained there was an acknowledgement of Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan by the US. Just ahead of the prime minister’s visit, Washington branded the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) a global terrorist organisation.

The BLA has been behind a number of terrorist attacks in Balochistan and other parts of the country. Pakistan banned the BLA in 2006 and urged other countries to follow suit. The latest move by the US, according to Pakistan, would help shrink space for the terrorist outfit to operate.

Originally Published By the Tribune