Pakistan hosts US peace envoy to Afghanistan to discuss progress in peace talks
US' special peace envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad Wednesday met Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa to discuss regional security and peace process in the war-torn country, days after his crucial meeting with Taliban representatives in the UAE.
The talks between the US and Taliban representatives were held in Abu Dhabi this week. Officials from Pakistan, the UAE and Saudi Arabia also participated in the talks.
Khalilzad reportedly held two rounds of negotiations with Taliban leaders in Qatar before the new round of talks.
Army spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor said in a tweet that "regional security and Afghan peace process were discussed" in the meeting.
"Visiting dignitary appreciated Pakistan's efforts for Afghanistan peace process. COAS (Chief of Army Staff) reiterated that peace in Afghanistan is important for Pakistan and assured continuous efforts for bringing peace and stability in the region," Ghafoor said.
It was Khalilzad's third trip to Pakistan in recent months. According to diplomatic sources, Pakistan helped in arranging the direct talks between the US and Taliban, creating a ray of hope for ending more than 17-year-old Afghan conflict.
The US administration has appreciated Pakistan's role in arranging the meeting with Taliban leaders. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, after taking office in August, made it clear that Pakistan wanted to establish peaceful ties with all its neighbours.
Trump, however, earlier this year accused Pakistan of doing nothing despite taking billions of dollars from the US. Washington also suspended millions of dollars in military aid to Islamabad.
In one of the America's longest war, the US has spent over USD 1 trillion in Afghanistan since the coalition forces ousted the Taliban in 2001.
(With inputs from agencies.)