US, China, Russia welcome Pakistan’s role in Afghan peace talks

WASHINGTON: The United States, China and Russia have welcomed Pakistan to a consultation process seeking to find a negotiated end to the decades-old conflict in Afghanistan.

“China, Russia, and the United States have welcomed Pakistan joining the Afghan consultation and believe that Pakistan can play an important role in facilitating peace in Afghanistan,” said a joint statement issued by China, Russia and the US during a four-party meeting on the Afghan peace process held in Beijing from July 11 to 12.

Representatives of China, Russia, and the United States held their 3rd consultation on the Afghan peace process in Beijing.

Pakistan appreciated the constructive efforts by the China-Russia-US trilateral consultation on the Afghan peace process.

The four sides exchanged views on the current situation and joint efforts for realizing a political settlement to advance peace, stability, and prosperity of Afghanistan and the region.

The four sides emphasized the importance of the trilateral consensus on the Afghan peace process reached in Moscow on April 25, 2019. All sides welcomed recent positive progress as the crucial parties concerned have advanced their talks and increased contacts with each other. All sides also welcomed intra-Afghan meetings held in Moscow and Doha.

The four sides called for relevant parties to grasp the opportunity for peace and immediately start intra-Afghan negotiations between the Taliban, Afghan government, and other Afghans.

They re-affirmed negotiations should be “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned” and further agreed that these negotiations should produce a peace framework as soon as possible. This framework should guarantee the orderly and responsible transition of the security situation and detail an agreement on a future inclusive political arrangement acceptable to all Afghans.

The four sides encouraged all parties to take steps to reduce violence leading to a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire that starts with intra-Afghan negotiations.

The four sides agreed to maintain the momentum of consultation, will invite other important stakeholders to join on the basis of the trilateral consensus agreed on April 25, 2019 in Moscow, and this broader group will meet when intra-Afghan negotiations start.

The date and venue for the next consultation will be agreed upon through diplomatic channels.

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