The United States, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan have announced a new Quad Regional Support group for Afghanistan Peace Process.
“Representatives of the United States, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan agreed in principle to establish a new quadrilateral diplomatic platform focused on enhancing regional connectivity,” Foreign Office said in a statement issued here on Friday.
“The parties consider long-term peace and stability in Afghanistan critical to regional-connectivity and agree that peace and regional connectivity and mutually reinforcing,” it added.
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“Recognizing the historic opportunity to open flourishing international trade routes, the parties intend to cooperate to expand trade, build transit links and strengthen business-to-business ties,” the statement said.
“The parties agreed to meet in the coming months to determine the modalities of this cooperation with mutual consensus”, the statement concluded.
The process to pull out all US forces from Afghanistan is about 95% complete, the Pentagon announced earlier this week.
Concerns have continued to mount about the longevity of the Afghan government as the Taliban continues to make battlefield gains against government forces across Afghanistan.
Peace conference in Islamabad postponed
Meanwhile, Pakistan on Friday postponed a scheduled Afghan peace conference in capital Islamabad over the weekend.
The announcement came after Prime Minister Imran Khan and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani Friday met on the sidelines of “Central and South Asia 2021: Regional Connectivity: Challenges and Opportunities” conference, in Uzbekistan.
In a short statement, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said the Afghan peace conference scheduled to be held in Islamabad from July 17-19 has been postponed until after Eid al-Adha, a holy Muslim festival.
The new dates of the said conference will be announced later, the statement added.
APP with additional input by GVS News Desk