Pak hails resumption of Afghan peace talks

Islamabad, Jan 7 (IANS) Pakistan has welcomed the resumption of the second round of the Afghan peace talks in Qatar between representatives of the Kabul government and the Taliban, which commenced after a three-week break.

In a statement, the Pakistan Foreign Ministry said that the two teams have made significant progress by finalising the rules and procedures last month and have now reconvened to negotiate on substantive issues, reports Xinhua news agency.

“We are hopeful that the two sides will prioritize working out a roadmap for reduction in violence and ceasefire in the negotiations,” the statement said.

The Ministry further said the year 2020 witnessed substantial progress towards peace in Afghanistan, with a number of positive developments including conclusion of the US-Taliban peace agreement and the start of intra-Afghan negotiations.

“We remain hopeful that the year 2021 will witness the dawn of a peaceful and stable Afghanistan,” it added.

The statement said Pakistan hopes that the two negotiating teams would continue to engage with open-mind and will observe patience, prudence and perseverance to seize this historic opportunity for peace.

“We call upon both sides to remain constructively engaged and show flexibility in the negotiations for reaching an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement which would lead to lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan,” it added.

The second round of the talks, which began on Wednesday, will focus on a ceasefire and reduction in violence in Afghanistan.

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