Pakistan

Peace in Afghanistan essential for Pakistan's security: Aziz

NEW YORK: “Pakistan reiterates strong solidarity with Afghan people, stressing that peace and prosperity of Afghanistan was essential for its own security,” said Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Mr. Sartaj Aziz while addressing a high-level event yesterday on “Afghanistan’s Peaceful Reconstruction and Regional Cooperation”.

The event was co-hosted by Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Participants of the high-level event included, among others, Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Cevdet Yilmaz and Foreign Ministers of Australia, Iran, Italy, Kazakhstan, Norway, and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Sartaj Aziz expressed hope that the Afghan peace process would be resumed soon, as this was important pre-requisite for peace and stability in the country.

“Pakistan was ready to facilitate peace talks, if the Afghan Government so desired,” he added.

He stressed that Pakistan’s efforts to persuade Afghan Taliban to participate in peace talks should not, however, be interpreted as indirect endorsement of the current surge of violence in Afghanistan.

A number of delegations reiterated their pledge for long-term support for Afghanistan. They emphasized that “Great Games” of the past should be converted into the “Great Gains” for the future of Afghanistan.

It was underscored that the interest of Afghan people, who had suffered enormously in the past, should be held above everything. In this regard, the Afghan government and the Taliban were encouraged to compromise and meet at “half way” for their country’s peace and stability.

A co-chair’s statement issued after the event expressed long term support for political process, economic reconstruction, security and stability, regional cooperation as well as peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.

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