Monday, August 26, 2013

President Zardari: Pakistan has consistently supported promotion of peace, stability in Afghanistan

Pakistan has been consistently extending every possible support for promotion of peace and stability in Afghanistan and has been making efforts for intra-Afghanistan reconciliation to be peaceful and stable, President Asif Ali Zardari said on Monday. In a meeting at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, President Zardari
told Afghan President Hamid Karzai that a united Afghanistan was in Pakistan’s own interest and stressed the need for joint efforts and close coordination to cope with the evolving situation in the region with focus on peace process in Afghanistan and the post-withdrawal scenario. Later, the spokesman to the president, Senator Farhatullah Babar said the two leaders discussed matters pertaining to Pak-Afghan ties, evolving regional situation, peace process in Afghanistan and other issues of mutual interest. The president reaffirmed Pakistan’s strong resolve to working with Afghanistan as well as regional and international partners for sustainable peace and development. “We firmly believe that our dreams of peace and prosperity cannot be realised as long as Afghanistan remains in turmoil,” Zardari said. Discussing bilateral relations, the president reiterated that Pakistan was committed to deepening and broadening fraternal relations with Afghanistan, adding that relations between the two countries should be defined by a strong trade and economic partnership. He said the two countries had covered a long distance in forging closer ties in the last few years and urged for further strengthening it to the mutual benefit of both countries. President Zardari emphasised on optimum utilisation of the Afghan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) and its extension to Central Asia for promoting trade and economic activities in the region. He said early implementation of the agreement besides enhancing regional connectivity would also help promote Afghanistan’s access to foreign markets through Pakistani sea-ports and land routes. He also reiterated that Pakistan supported an inclusive Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation and peace process and it would continue to play a positive and supportive role in facilitating the reconciliation. He also wished the Afghan president and the people of Afghanistan well in the ongoing reconciliation and peace process in the country. Zardari expressed hope that President Karzai’s visit would give impetus to the ongoing efforts for an enhanced relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan and further strengthen joint endeavours of the two countries in the pursuit of durable peace, stability and prosperity. President Karzai was accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs Zalmai Rassoul, National Security Adviser Rangin Dadfar Spanta, Minister of Finance Hazrat Omer Zakhilwal, Minister of Commerce and Industries Anwar ul Haq Ahady, High Peace Council (HPC) Chairman HE Salahuddin Rabbani, Chief of Staff to the President Abdul Karim Khurram, Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Ershad Ahmadi and Ambassador of Afghanistan Mohammad Umer Daudzai.
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