KABUL – Senior-level delegations from Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States held the fourth meeting of their trilateral core group in Islamabad on Monday. Deputy Foreign Minister, Jawed Ludin, who led the Afghan delegation, also held bilateral meetings with the Pakistani Foreign Minister, Hina Rabbani Khar, and Foreign Secretary, Salman Bashir, during the two-day visit on August 1 and 2.
Underlining the Afghan people's three-decade quest for a lasting, just and inclusive peace, Mr. Ludin highlighted the need for urgent and result-oriented steps in support of the Afghan-led national reconciliation process by the Core Group members going forward.
"We've invested a lot of time, energy and effort in the work of this core group since its inception four months ago," said Mr. Ludin. "Reconciliation is the single most important strategy for us in Afghanistan to bring peace and security to our people."
"The message we bring this time is one of urgency when it comes to our actions in support of the Afghan reconciliation process – actions that are result-oriented and bring about tangible outcomes in the next few months," he said. "Pakistan has an important role to play in this process."
A specific topic discussed in this context was seeking ways to establish direct contact with senior Taliban leadership outside Afghanistan. "We look to Pakistan to help us bring the Taliban leadership over to the reconciliation process," said Mr. Ludin.
Throughout the visit, the Afghan delegation underscored the success of Afghan reconciliation as a centerpiece for regional peace and stability that will allow Afghanistan, Pakistan and the broader region to prosper together as part of an alternative vision for the region based on shared development, trade and economic cooperation and integration.
The Afghan delegation included the Afghan ambassador to Pakistan, Mohammad Umer Daudzai, and other senior representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defense and the Directorate of National Security. Mr. Bashir led the Pakistani delegation, which included Pakistan's ambassador to Afghanistan, Mr. Mohammad Sadiq, and senior military and intelligence officials and other diplomats. The American delegation, led by the country's special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Marc Grossman, also included the country's ambassadors to Afghanistan, Ryan Crocker, and Pakistan, Cameron Munter, and senior military and intelligence officials.
The three previous meetings of the core group were held in Islamabad on May 2 and in Kabul on May 24 and June 28, respectively. (PR)