Afghan Peace Process: Asif to represent Pakistan at Tashkent summit

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By Muhammad Luqman

Leaders of over 25 countries  will gather in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan on March 26-27 to discuss the ways to bring peace in the war-torn Afghanistan.

Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif will represent Pakistan at the international conference on Afghanistan – “Peace Process, Cooperation in the Sphere of Security and Regional Interaction”, according to foreign office spokesman

Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani will open  the conference.

Besides Pakistan’s foreign minister, high-ranking officials are expected to attend including UN General Secretary Antonio Guterres and the UN Special Envoy to Afghanistan Tadamichi Yamamoto, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, as well as the foreign ministers of China, Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, France, Turkey, India, Iran, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The moot  comes on the heels of the recent Kabul Process meeting where Afghan President Ashraf Ghani laid out a detailed peace offer to the Taliban, Afghan Tolo TV reported.

The upcoming meeting aims to get conference participants to express a consolidated position on the necessity of starting direct negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

The conference will be summed up by a Tashkent Declaration, that will reflect the main points of the discussion, according to the Tolo TV report.

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