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Qureshi urges Afghan leaders to achieve negotiated political settlement at earliest

DUSHANBE, Tajikistan: In view of the withdrawal of international forces from Afghanistan, the Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has urged the Afghan leaders to achieve a negotiated political settlement at the earliest, adding that such an outcome would bring peace, stability, and prosperity in the war-torn Country.

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In a meeting with his Afghan Counterpart Hanif Atmar on the sidelines of the SCO Council of Foreign Ministers meeting in Dushanbe on Tuesday, Qureshi remarked that Afghan leaders should seize the historic opportunity and take advantage of international convergence on the final settlement of the Afghan conflict by working together an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement.

The foreign minister expressed concern on high level of violence, which has resulted in innumerable loss of lives. He emphasized immediate steps to decrease violence, leading to comprehensive ceasefire.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi also reaffirmed Pakistan’s consistent support to a peaceful and united Afghanistan, at peace with itself and with its neighbours.

Highlighting that negative statements could not cloud Pakistan’s positive contribution to the Afghan peace process, and that the blame game would not serve the region, the foreign minister urged his Afghan Counterpart to address all concerns through established institutional mechanisms including APAPPS.

The foreign minister said that Pakistan looked forward to hosting review meeting of APAPPS in Islamabad at the earliest.

Qureshi said that Pakistan supports a peaceful and stable Afghanistan, which would yield mutual dividends and benefits in terms of peace in the region, economic prosperity, and regional connectivity.

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