FM Qureshi to represent Pak at US-Taliban deal signing

Foreign Minister Qureshi to represent Pakistan at signing of US-Taliban peace deal in Doha: Report

 Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. Credit: AP Photo

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will attend the signing of a landmark peace deal between the US and the Taliban in Doha on Saturday aimed at ending the brutal war in Afghanistan, a top official said on Friday.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting, Firdous Ashiq Awan, said Pakistan "welcomes" the peace agreement between the two sides.

"On this occasion, Foreign Minister Qureshi will represent Pakistan. Emir of Qatar, foreign ministers of seven countries and representatives from 50 other countries will also attend the ceremony," Awan was quoted as saying by the Geo News.

She said the progress towards peace in Afghanistan was a victory of Prime Minister Imran Khan's vision.

The Prime Minister has always "supported the dialogue" to resolve the Afghan conundrum, she said, adding that Pakistan will continue to play its positive role for peace and stability.

Last week, Qatar invited Pakistan to attend the deal signing ceremony between United States and the Afghan Taliban.

In his remarks on the occasion, the foreign minister said Pakistan and Qatar had played a pivotal role in furthering the Afghan reconciliation process.

Pakistan Prime Minister Khan visited Qatar on Thursday just two days prior to the signing of the historic peace deal.

Khan met Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani and discussed ways to the boost bilateral ties.

The two sides discussed developing bilateral cooperation in economic, investment, and energy fields. They also exchanged views on prominent regional and international issues, led by the latest regional developments, according to a media report.

Khan's visit to Qatar comes as the US is set to sign a historic peace deal with the Taliban provided that a week-long reduction in violence across Afghanistan holds.

The Taliban has also confirmed the plan to sign the peace deal that day.

The long-standing war has killed tens of thousands of civilians and Afghanistan remains one of the poorest countries in the world. Some 2.5 million Afghans are registered as refugees abroad and another two million are displaced within their country.

The agreement struck during talks between the US and the Taliban, if maintained, may secure a peace deal that would lead to a withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, fulfilling a campaign promise of President Trump.

The US currently has reportedly less than 14,000 troops in Afghanistan. 

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