Pak welcomes announcement of intra-Afghan talks

Pakistan on Friday welcomed the announcement of the intra-Afghan negotiations slated to begin in Qatar on Saturday.

“Pakistan welcomes the announcement of the start of historic Intra Afghan Negotiations on 12 September in Doha,” Xinhua news agency quoted Pakistan’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Mohammad Sadiq as saying.

“We hope these negotiations would lead to sustainable peace in Afghanistan, which would bring prosperity to the country.

“Our strong support to the process would continue,” he added.

While announcing the beginning of the talks on Thursday night, the Qatar government said that “these vital direct negotiations between the different Afghan parties represent a step forward in bringing lasting peace to Afghanistan”.

The development was also confirmed by Mohammad Naeem Wardak, a spokesman for the Taliban delegation in Doha.

“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan announces its rea­diness to attend the inaugural meeting of the Inter-Afg­han Dialogue in accordance with the agreement reached between the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and the US,” he said.

Responding to Qatar’s announcement, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that “this is an historic moment and Afghanistan’s best chance at ending 40 years of war and bloodshed”.