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Afghan FM Meets Indian, Pakistani counterparts prior to SCO Meeting

Afghan Foreign Minister (FM) Mohammad Haneef Atmar, on the sidelines of the fourth meeting of the Afghanistan Contact Group within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, met his Indian and Pakistani counterparts in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that FM Atmar, during a meeting with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, discussed strengthening regional cooperation for the success of the Afghan Peace Process, Pakistan’s practical engagement on the joint fight against terrorism, and ensuring lasting peace and stability in the Afghanistan and the region.

Minister Atmar elaborated on the latest political and security developments in Afghanistan, calling the consolidation of regional cooperation along with the international community support to Afghanistan of vital significance to the success of the peace process.
“Mr. Atmar termed the presence of foreign fighters and regional and international terrorist networks alongside the Taliban a major threat to the region and the world and emphasized practical cooperation between regional countries, particularly Pakistan in closing shelters and ceasing funding sources of the Taliban, and encouraging the group to resume meaningful talks and find a political solution to the success of the Afghan peace process,” the statement added.

The Pakistani Foreign Minister described Afghanistan’s instability as regional instability and assured Minister Atmar of Pakistan’s continued support to a stable Afghanistan.
“He also stressed the importance of reducing violence and establishing ceasefire in Afghanistan and reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to working to persuade the Taliban to negotiate and find a political settlement,” the statement read.

In a separate meeting with his Indian counterpart S. Jaishankar, Atmar discussed security situation in Afghanistan, the outcome of president Ghani’s visit to Washington, and the US continued support and cooperation with Afghanistan.

Referring to the escalation of Taliban attacks in collusion with foreign fighters and terrorist networks, Minister Atmar said overcoming this common threat was of vital importance to regional security.

Atmar also underscored the constructive role of India in strengthening regional consensus on the Afghan peace process and the preservation of achievements of the last two decades.
Indian FM Jaishankar assured Atmar of India’s continued cooperation in strengthening regional and global consensus to achieve a political settlement in Afghanistan.
On July 14, the Tajik capital will host the SCO foreign ministers’ meeting and a special session with Haneef Atmar as part of the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group.

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