Pakistan to attend Moscow moot on Afghanistan: FM

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/3/24 20:27:44

Pakistan will participate in the next month's international conference on Afghanistan in Moscow, the Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

Russia will hold the conference on April 14 that will be the third of its kind in five months.

Russian Foreign Minister said this month that 12 countries, including the US and four Central Asian states, will be invited to the upcoming meeting to discuss peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.

Speaking at a weekly briefing, Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria said that no decision has been taken as to who will represent the country.

To a question, Zakaria said he has no information as whether or not the Afghan Taliban have been invited to the conference.
Earlier some Pakistani media reported that the Taliban have hinted at giving positive response if their political negotiators were formally invited to the conference.

"Pakistan supports all efforts for peace and security in Afghanistan," the spokesman said.

Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani told a news conference in Kabul last week that Russia has assured his country that its contacts with the Taliban are aimed at encouraging them to join peace process.

Rabbani, who travelled to Moscow last month, said that Russia'a interaction with the Taliban will not harm the dignity and sovereignty of Afghanistan.

Afghan affairs experts are of the view that the Moscow meeting could pave the way for Afghan gov't and the Taliban to interact to each other.

"I think it is best chance for the Taliban and the Afghan government to use this chance and steer the country from the current situation," an Afghan analyst Najam Burhani said.

Burhani said the involvement and seriousness of the regional countries, including Russia and China, in the reconciliation process will encourage the Afghan gov't to focus on political process.

He said concerns of the regional countries are growing about the emerging threat of Daesh in Afghanistan and that is why they are showing more interest in Taliban reconciliation.

Posted in: DIPLOMATIC CHANNEL

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