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Imran Khan will meet Taliban leaders soon

Afghan president’s visit to Pakistan late last month helped build confidence between two countries, says PM’s adviser

Taliban

Anadolu|

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan will soon meet with leaders of the Taliban in an attempt to push forward an otherwise sluggish peace process in war-ravaged Afghanistan, his adviser on political affairs said Wednesday.

“Prime Minister Imran Khan will meet the Taliban leaders soon for the peaceful resolution of the Afghan crisis and the Afghan government has also shown its consent in this regard,” Naeem ul Haq was quoted as saying by state-run Radio Pakistan. He was addressing a conference on Changing Regional Situation and Role of Pakistan, in Islamabad on Wednesday in the capital, Islamabad.

The news of the two meetings can be an indicator that Pakistan, Afghanistan and the US are on the same page regarding the resolution of the Afghan dispute.

Haq said Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s visit to Pakistan late last month had helped build confidence between the two neighbors. A similar meeting was set up in February in Islamabad but was canceled at the last minute after strong objections from the Afghan government.

The Afghan president’s visit — the third since 2014 — came days after Islamabad hosted several Afghan leaders at the tourist resort of Bhurban to discuss ways to end the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan, which has entered its 18th year.

The news about meeting Taliban leadership comes soon after confirmation that PM Imran Khan will be meeting US President Donald Trump in Washington on July 22. The news of the two meetings can be an indicator that Pakistan, Afghanistan and the US are on the same page regarding the resolution of the Afghan dispute. A relationship that has been rocky since Trump came to power. Last year, the U.S. suspended more than $1.6 billion in security aid to Pakistan.

Read more: Afghan President to visit Islamabad: Ghani seeking international legitimacy?

On the other hand negotiations between the Taliban and US delegations are also underway in Doha. The negotiations are now in their 7th round and have resolved 80-90 percent issues, according to a Taliban spokesperson.

Anadolu with additional input from GVS News desk

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