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Karzai Sets Conditions For Visiting Pakistan

Afghan President Hamid Karzai
Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai has accepted an invitation to visit neighboring Pakistan with caveats.

A presidential statement said on July 22 that a high-ranking delegation could visit Pakistan only when a "serious and effective struggle against terrorism and the peace process are on the top of the agenda."

The statement also called for a specific agenda and solid groundwork ahead of the visit. The invitation was extended on July 21 during high-level talks designed to mend increasingly tense relations.

Pakistan's foreign affairs adviser Sartaj Aziz delivered the invitation in person from the new Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan have been frequently strained, with Kabul accusing Islamabad of backing the Taliban.

However, Washington views Islamabad as a key player in the negotiations because of its longstanding ties with the Taliban.

With reporting by AFP