Pakistan welcomes US-Taliban deal

Pakistan welcomes US-Taliban deal, says would support every effort to bring peace in Afghanistan

Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi. (Reuters photo)

Pakistan on Saturday welcomed the signing of a peace deal between the US and the Taliban, saying it would continue to support every effort being made to bring peace in Afghanistan.

The US and the Taliban signed a landmark peace deal in Qatari capital Doha on Saturday which will provide for the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan.

The deal signing ceremony was attended by Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi among several other dignitaries.

 In a statement, Pakistan's Foreign Office said that Qureshi welcomed the agreement and said that the agreement carried immense importance for Afghanistan, the region and beyond.

"Pakistan will continue to support a peaceful, stable, united, democratic and prosperous Afghanistan, at peace with itself and with its neighbours," the statement quoted Qureshi as saying.

He underlined that Pakistan had fulfilled its part of the responsibility in terms of facilitating the peace agreement.

"The peace agreement reflected a significant step forward by the US and the Taliban in advancing the ultimate aim of peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan," he said.

He also appreciated the personal contribution of Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani to the peace process.

Qureshi said that the intra-Afghan negotiations would be the next logical step after the agreement.

As part of the deal, the intra-Afghan peace talks, involving representatives from the Afghan government, the Taliban and various other groups, will be held in Norway's capital Oslo by March 10.

He hoped that the Afghan parties would now seize this historic opportunity and workout a comprehensive and inclusive political settlement for durable peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region.

Qureshi also underlined the need for the international community to recognise that Afghanistan will require support to commence reconstruction and rehabilitation phase.

Drawing the international community's attention to Afghan refugees in Pakistan, he underscored the need to assist the Afghan government in creating an enabling environment for the return of the refugees to their homeland with dignity and honour.

Qureshi reiterated that Pakistan will continue its policy of supporting the Afghan people in their efforts to achieve lasting peace, stability and development in Afghanistan.

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