Aziz to revive talks between Afghan government, Taliban

Islamabad, Sep 4 (IANS) Pakistan National Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz on Friday arrived in Afghanistan to revive the stalled peace talks between the government and the Taliban insurgents.

Aziz is scheduled to hold talks with his Afghan counterpart Hanif Atmar on the sidelines of a regional conference, Xinhua quoted Akhtar Munir, spokesman at the Pakistan embassy in Kabul, as saying.

He will also meet Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani.

Aziz will lead the Pakistan delegation at the Ministerial Meeting of the Sixth Regional Economic Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA-VI).

The visit is seen as important as he will hold bilateral meetings that could help in reducing tensions between the two countries.

Pakistan had hosted the first ever face-to-face talks between the representatives of the Afghan government and the Taliban near Islamabad on July 7.

The second round, scheduled to take place on July 31, was, however, postponed following the death of Taliban supreme leader Mullah Omar.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said he will no more ask Pakistan to assist in the talks with the Taliban and his government will itself pursue the negotiations.

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