Afghan officials on December 7 confirmed that President Ashraf Ghani plans to visit Pakistan this week for a regional conference that has bolstered hopes for the revival of peace talks with the Taliban.
A spokesman for Afghanistan’s chief executive, Abdullah Abdullah, told reporters that Ghani will attend the conference that is being hosted in Islamabad by Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
The two-day event, known as the Heart of Asia conference, begins on December 8.
India’s Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj also plans to attend, marking the highest-level official visit from the government in New Delhi in years.
The last official visit to Pakistan by a senior government official was in September 2012 by then Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna.
Tensions have been high between Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India recently. But Sharif had brief meetings in Paris last week with Ghani and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that appear to have eased relations.
Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry says the foreign ministers of China, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Iran also have confirmed they will attend.