US praises Pak for promoting Afghan talks

Washington, Dec 17 (IANS) | Publish Date: 12/17/2018 12:03:03 PM IST

The US has said that it welcomes Pakistans efforts to promote peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban, a media report said on Monday.

The acknowledgement on Sunday came a day after Prime Minister Imran Khan announced that Pakistan had arranged another round of talks between the US and Taliban officials but he did not say when and where, the Dawn report said.
But Voice of America (VOA) radio’s Dari service reported on Sunday that US special representative Zal­may Khalilzad is likely to meet Taliban representatives in Islamabad on Monday. 
Previous talks were held in Doha, Qatar.
“The US welcomes any actions by the Pakistani government to promote greater cooperation, including fostering negotiations between the Taliban, the Afghan government, and other Afghans,” a US embassy spokesperson in Kabul told VOA.
Khalilzad, had met, and would continue to meet, all interested parties, including the Taliban, to support a negotiated settlement to the conflict in Afghanistan, the spokesperson added.
VOA reported that two weeks ago the special representative had asked Pakistani authorities to facilitate the Afghan peace process.
On Saturday, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi announced that Pakistan had asked the Taliban “to lay down their arms and prepare for talks”.
Qureshi said that while “Pakistan can help with these talks, the Afghan government, the Taliban and other groups must begin their own compromises and dialogues”., Dawn reported
Earlier this month, US President Donald Trump wrote to Prime Minister Khan, seeking his help to bring the Taliban to the table for negotiations. 
The prime minister told reporters in Peshawar on Friday that the US had changed its tune by requesting help instead of saying Islamabad was not doing enough, as US officials have previously insisted.

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