Pakistan: Dozens of envoys talk peace in Afghanistan

AP News
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Posted: Dec 09, 2015 3:18 AM

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Representatives of over two dozen countries met Wednesday in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad to discuss ways to bring peace to war-torn Afghanistan.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani jointly opened the one-day ministerial conference, said a statement from Sharif's office.

Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had arrived Tuesday, bringing with her "a message of improving ties."

The "heart of Asia" initiative was inaugurated in Istanbul in 2011 and aims to promote peace in Afghanistan.

Pakistan and Afghanistan have been trading accusations of supporting insurgents since Afghan peace talks brokered by Islamabad collapsed last summer, suspending a reconciliation process between Kabul and the Afghan Taliban.

Sharif, in his opening remarks, reiterated Pakistan's commitment and desire to resume the stalled talks. He said Pakistan was ready to extend support to a meaningful process, wherein both the Afghan government and the Taliban could move forward in a spirit of accommodation and reconciliation.

Ghani and Swaraj will also hold bilateral talks with Sharif before the conference issues a joint declaration.

"In this regard, I think, it is important to create a mechanism of regional cooperation in seeing how the network of terror coordinates, who finances them and what's their linkage," Ghani said.