Abbasi in Kabul to discuss peace process, ties

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Kabul, April 6 (IANS) Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi arrived here on Friday on a day-long visit and was warmly received Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani at the Presidential Palace.

A contingent of Afghan Army presented a guard of honour to Abbasi upon his arrival in Kabul. During his visit, the Pakistani leader is expected to discuss the Afghan peace process and political and security situation with Ghani and Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah.

Bilateral trade, return of Afghan refugees, combating drug production and clamping down on the narcotics trade will also come under discussion during the meeting, reported Dawn online.

This is Abbasi’s first visit to Afghanistan since he assumed office.

The Pakistani leader’s visit “was taking place in the backdrop of Islamabad’s support to President Ghani’s offer of peace talks with the Taliban for lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan and strengthening bilateral engagement”, the statement by Pakistani Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

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Ghani, in his speech at the Kabul Process meeting on February 28, asked the Taliban to hold peace talks with the government, saying the government will recognise the Taliban as a political party.

Afghanistan, according to officials, was hopeful that Islamabad could play a proactive role in encouraging the Taliban to join the peace process and hold dialogue with the Afghan government to find negotiated settlement to Afghanistan’s lingering crisis.

–IANS

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