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Pakistan, Afghanistan, US discuss Taliban safe passage

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, Sept 7, IRNA -- Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States have discussed issues relating to safe passage to Afghan Taliban militants, who want to join peace process, officials said.

The three countries had agreed to establish the Safe Passage Working Group during their meeting in Islamabad in April this year after Afghan officials expressed concern at the safety of those militants who are interested in talks with the Afghan government.

'Delegations from Kabul, Washington and Islamabad participated in Thursday’s meeting and agreed to continue further discussions aimed at promoting peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan,' the Foreign Ministry said.

No more details were given in a short statement by foreign ministry.

Afghanistan had been seeking help from Pakistan and the United States for security of those Taliban leaders who are outside Afghanistan and want to enter into dialogue with the Afghan President Hamid Karzai's administration.

President Karzai had told Pakistani political and religious leaders in Islamabad in February this year that Taliban leaders are either killed or arrested whenever they show willingness to negotiate with his government.

Taliban have refused so far to talk to the Afghan government and had preferred to hold talks with the United States in Qatar, which Taliban suspended in March over the release of Taliban detainees. Taliban had suggested release of some of their prisoners as a goodwill gesture to take the Qatar process of dialogue forward.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 80312429

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