Pakistan, Afghanistan agree on joint cooperation groups

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Islamabad, April 8 (IANS) The Pakistani Foreign Ministry on Sunday released details of a wide ranging agreement with neighbouring Afghanistan on cooperation in key areas.

Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani reached the agreement in their talks in Kabul during the former’s visit to Afghanistan on Friday.

The ministry said the two countries agreed on key principles to operationalise the working groups under Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS), which is a joint action plan for cooperation in key areas of counter-terrorism, reduction of violence, promotion of peace and reconciliation, repatriation of refugees and joint economic development.

Pakistan and Afghanistan will “undertake effective actions against fugitives and the irreconcilable elements posing security threats to either of the two countries”.

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“Both countries commit to deny use of their respective territory by any country, network, group or individuals for anti-state activities against either country,” according to the new mechanism.

Both will put in place a joint supervision, coordination and confirmation mechanism through Liaison Officers (LOs) for realization of the agreed actions.

Pakistan will support the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation for the political solution to the Afghan conflict, the ministry said.

The Prime Minister’s Office said Abbasi welcomed Ghani’s peace and reconciliation offer to the Taliban and both leaders called on the Taliban to respond positively to the peace offer and join the peace process without further delay.

Both countries will establish working groups and ensure necessary cooperation mechanism as per the APAPPS for its full implementation and the mutually reinforcing principles.

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Earlier the Prime Minister’s Office said the APAPPS provided a useful framework for broad based and structured engagement on all issues of mutual interest and decided to operationalise the five working groups under the APAPPS.

–IANS

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