Pakistani PM travels to Afghanistan amid tensions
Iran Press TV
Sat Apr 7, 2018 08:46AM
Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has traveled to Afghanistan on a visit to that comes shortly after Afghanistan accused Pakistan of having conducted cross-border airstrikes.
Abbasi met with Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah, and other high-ranking Afghan officials on Friday, announced Afghan presidential spokesman Shah Hussain Murtazawi.
According to local press reports, peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan, joint counter-terrorism efforts, the return of Afghan refugees, boosting bilateral political and trade ties, and regional connectivity topped the agenda of the talks.
Ghani and Abbasi held a one-on-one discussion following delegation-level talks at the Presidential Palace, according to a statement issued by the Pakistani Embassy in Kabul. It added that Abbasi was accompanied in the visit by Pakistan's ministers of foreign affairs and interior as well as Islamabad's national security adviser.
The statement said that Abbasi welcomed Ghani's vision for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan and his offer of peace talks to the Taliban militants.
"Both leaders called on the Taliban to respond positively to the peace offer and join the peace process without further delay. They agreed that there was no military solution to the ongoing Afghan conflict and that the political solution was the best way forward," it said.
The two leaders described terrorism as "a common enemy" and "agreed not to allow their soils to be used for anti-state activities against each other."
Abbasi also extended invitations to Ghani and Abdullah to visit Islamabad at their earliest convenience.
The high-profile visit came after Afghanistan's Foreign Ministry alleged on Thursday that Pakistani jets had dropped four bombs in Pakistan's Kunar Province's Dangam district.
"Afghanistan warns that continuing violations of international norms... will have further consequences on the relations between the two countries," said the ministry in a statement, without specifying whether any casualties had been caused.
Pakistan's Foreign Ministry rejected the allegation as "baseless" in a Friday statement, and said operations had been conducted against originally Afghanistan-based militant groups on the Pakistani side of the border, not the Afghan side.
Military authorities from both countries met on Thursday in Pakistan's garrison city of Rawalpindi, where Pakistani officials shared details of the operations with Afghanistan, added the statement.
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