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Pakistan, US diplomats hand to hand for Afghan peace deal

04 December 2013 [13:50] - TODAY.AZ
The visiting top American and Pakistani diplomats on Tuesday called for accelerated progress in the Afghan reconciliation process, Islamabad, Dec 3, IRNA reported.

U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Ambassador James Dobbins met Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz, and discussed developments relating to the Afghan peace and reconciliation process and matters pertaining to 2014 and beyond, the Foreign Ministry said.

The U.S. special envoy is visiting Pakistan following the visit to Kabul by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who had assured President Karzai of his country's full support to the Afghan peace process.

Ambassador Dobbins visit comes at a time when relationship between the U.S. and Afghanistan is under pressure over the proposed security pact as President Karzai has refused to sign it before the April president elections. He had also attached conditions that the U.S. should end raids on Afghan homes and help Kabul in peace process.

Washington and Kabul want Islamabad to help in the peace process by encouraging the Taliban to come to the negotiating table.

The Pakistani Adviser also raised with Ambassador Dobbins the issue of the controversial U.S. drone attacks underscoring their counter-productive effect, a Foreign Ministry statement said.

"The adviser reiterated the call to the U.S. to review its policy which has a negative impact on the Government's efforts to bring peace and stability in Pakistan and the region," it said.

As regards Pakistan-U.S. relations, the Adviser underlined the need for early convening of U.S.-Pakistan Working Groups on Law Enforcement and Counter Terrorism and Economy and Finance before the next round of Ministerial-level Strategic Dialogue expected in March 2014.

The Foreign Ministry said the two top diplomats also discussed Pakistan-U.S. bilateral relations and regional issues of common interest.

The U.S. embassy in Islamabad also issued a statement about the visit of Mr Dobbins which said the "visit is a continuation of our bilateral engagement with Pakistan as the United States remains committed to fostering peace, security, and economic growth in the region."

Ambassador Dobbins also met with Pakistan Minister of Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, among other officials, and reviewed bilateral relations, the embassy said.


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