Pakistan has welcomed the announcement regarding the U.S.-Taliban agreement. Pakistan has consistently supported direct negotiations between the U.S. and Taliban.
Pakistan Foreign office released a press release which stated “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.”
“We believe the signing of the U.S.-Taliban agreement will pave the way for the next step of intra-Afghan negotiations” the statement said.
Pakistan also hoping that the Afghan parties would seize this historic opportunity and work out a comprehensive and inclusive political settlement for durable peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region.
Pakistan also reaffirmed its support for a peaceful, stable, united, democratic and prosperous Afghanistan, at peace with itself and with its neighbors.
The statement further states that Pakistan is 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 honor.
Earlier, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday that The United States is preparing to sign a deal with the Taliban on February 29, building on an agreement on reducing violence across Afghanistan.
A week-long “reduction in violence” between the Taliban, the US and Afghan security forces will commence shortly, Afghanistan’s National Security Council spokesman Javed Faisal told AFP on Friday.
The partial truce will mark a historic step in more than 18 years of gruelling conflict in Afghanistan and would pave the way for a deal that could, ultimately, see the war end.
According to the sources of AFP, Pompeo said that intra-Afghan negotiations would begin shortly after the February 29 signing, expected to take place in the Qatari capital Doha.
They will “build on this fundamental step to deliver a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire and the future political roadmap for Afghanistan,” he said.
The US top diplomat said that challenges remain, but that progress made so far “provides hope and represents a real opportunity. The United States calls on all Afghans to seize this moment”.
Earlier today he had a meeting with Saudi Prince and in a tweet he said, “Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud and I discussed the ongoing threat posed by the Iranian regime. We also discussed the situations in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and the need for a united GCC. We stand together with Saudi Arabia in addressing these regional security challenges.”
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud and I discussed the ongoing threat posed by the Iranian regime. We also discussed the situations in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and the need for a united GCC. We stand together with Saudi Arabia in addressing these regional security challenges. pic.twitter.com/iTwQlW5Geh
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) February 21, 2020