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Ghani, Aziz confer on reconciliation drive

aziz-ghaniKABUL: Islamabad has reiterated its earnest desire for long-term peace in Afghanistan, saying the neighbour’s stability is important for progress in Pakistan.

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz restated Pakistan’s position during a meeting with President Ashraf Ghani on the sidelines of the Brussels Conference.

According to a statement from the Pakistan Embassy here, Aziz called for the international community’s continued engagement for sustainable economic development in Afghanistan.

Ghani welcomed Pakistan’s pledge of $500 million in economic assistance as a demonstration of Islamabad’s solidarity with the government and people of Afghanistan.

He suggested the two governments should work together to identify projects based on mutual consultation. He also appreciated the announcement of a second tranche of 3,000 scholarships for Afghan students in Pakistani universities.

The two sides also discussed efforts for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan. Lasting peace and stability could be achieved through a politically negotiated settlement, Aziz remarked.

He commended Afghan government and people for concluding a peace deal with the Hezb-i-Islami. He hoped the accord could lead to opportunities for similar arrangements with other insurgents.

President Ashraf Ghani expressed concern over Taliban‘s continued refusal to join the peace process, causing perpetuation of violence, killings and suffering. -Pajhwok


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