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FO welcomes US, Taliban’s announcement for peace deal

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Office (FO) has welcomed the announcement made by United States (US) and Taliban to agree on signing a peace deal for Afghanistan on February 29, ARY News reported on Friday.

The FO spokesperson in its statement said that Pakistan has consistently supported direct negotiations between the US and Taliban.

“From the outset, Pakistan has facilitated this process and contributed to its progress thus far. We look forward to the signing of the agreement on 29 February 2020,” the statement read.

“We believe the signing of the U.S.-Taliban agreement will pave the way for the next step of intra-Afghan negotiations. We hope the Afghan parties would now seize this historic opportunity and work out a comprehensive and inclusive political settlement for durable peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region.”

Read: Pakistan welcomes Trump’s willingness to resume talks with Afghan Taliban

The foreign office’s spokesperson once again reiterated: “Pakistan reaffirms its support for a peaceful, stable, united, democratic and prosperous Afghanistan, at peace with itself and with its neighbours.”

“We are also looking forward to the international community playing its part in reinforcing the efforts for the establishment of sustainable peace in Afghanistan and helping to create conditions inside Afghanistan to enable the return of Afghan refugees from Pakistan to their homeland with dignity and honour.”

Earlier in the day, Afghan Taliban and United States (US) Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have confirmed to hold successful dialogues leading to a peace deal for ending the decades-long war in Afghanistan.

Read: PM reaffirms Pakistan’s continued commitment to Afghan peace process

The peace deal is expected to be signed on February 29. However, both sides have put conditions for creating a suitable security situation prior to signing an accord to pull US troops out of Afghanistan. Both sides have also discussed the implementation of another condition for releasing prisoners, whereas, the political parties will envisage a strategy for initiating intra-Afghanistan talks.

Different countries and representative organisations will be invited in the accord signing ceremony.

Afghan Taliban spokesperson said that the withdrawal process of foreign troops will begin after the peace deal. He also announced a week-long partial truce across Afghanistan would kick off this weekend from February 22.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, “Upon a successful implementation of this understanding, signing of the US-Taliban agreement is expected to move forward.” He claimed that that negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government would “start soon thereafter”.

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