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Iran Press TV

Pakistan, Afghanistan pledge to improve relations

Iran Press TV

Sat Nov 15, 2014 11:25PM GMT

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Afghanistan's new President Ashraf Ghani have pledged to improve security and trade relations between the two countries, Press TV reports.

The two neighbors have signed several deals to boost train and road links, increase trade, and cooperate on defense, border and energy issues, Sharif said at a joint news conference with Ghani in Pakistan's capital, Islamabad, on Saturday.

'Our security and future prosperity remain interlinked,' Sharif noted, adding, 'I ... reaffirmed Pakistan's support for the intra-Afghan reconciliation process that the new government is initiating.'

Ghani, who is paying his first state visit to Pakistan, said for his turn that the two sides will try to build better future ties.

'We have overcome obstacles of 13 years in three days,' he noted, adding, 'We will not permit the past to destroy the future.'

The new Afghan government has pursued negotiations with the Taliban militants, more than one year after former Afghan President Hamid Karzai launched the peace process.

Afghanistan's peace talks with the Taliban failed last year after the militants said they would not hold direct talks with Kabul.

Ghani asked the Taliban to join the peace process and "enter Afghan dialogue" during the Ministerial Conference of the Istanbul Process on Afghanistan which was held in China in October.

The United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001 as part of Washington's so-called war on terror. The offensive removed the Taliban from power, but the country is still gripped by insecurity despite the presence of thousands of foreign forces.


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