Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Afghanistan

Afghan Foreign Minister Asks Pakistan For 'Honest' Cooperation

Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmay Rasul visits Islamabad in a fresh push to reconciliation efforts.Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmay Rasul visits Islamabad in a fresh push to reconciliation efforts.
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Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmay Rasul visits Islamabad in a fresh push to reconciliation efforts.
Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmay Rasul visits Islamabad in a fresh push to reconciliation efforts.
By RFE/RL
Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmay Rasul says he has asked Pakistan for "honest, results-oriented cooperation" to support Afghanistan's peace process.
 
Rasul made the remarks during a joint press conference with Pakistan's Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar after the two met for talks in Islamabad on November 30.
 
"Peace in Afghanistan also is a prerequisite for peace and security in the region, including peace and security here in Pakistan. So we are asking countries in the region and beyond to support the Afghan peaceful process in an honest and concrete way," Rasul said.
 
Rasul welcomed the November 15 release of at least nine Taliban commanders in a bid to help build trust between the Taliban and Kabul.
 
Earlier, Rasul's spokesman said the Afghan foreign minister was urging Islamabad to release more detained Taliban.
 
Rasul said that he hopes Islamabad will take other concrete measures to encourage peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.
 
"Both our countries face a common threat: the threat of terrorism and extremism, which requires our best common effort to overcome," Rasul said.
 
"I hope and pray that we can firmly move away from the legacy of the past between our countries and work together to unlock the far more important and truly enormous potential of honest, results-oriented cooperation between us in all areas."
 
For her part, Khar said she and Rasul agreed to "operationalize" a joint commission that would address the issue of releasing more Taliban prisoners who might become involved in the peace process in Afghanistan.
 
But she stressed that Pakistan's role in Afghanistan's reconciliation process cannot be more than "a facilitator to whatever future the Afghans choose for themselves."
 
Khar also announced that Islamabad and Kabul have taken the first steps toward negotiating a strategic partnership agreement.
 
Khar said she and Rasul also discussed the fight against terrorism and control of the illegal narcotics trade.

With reporting by dpa, Dailytimes.com.pk, Reuters, and RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal 

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