Thursday 21 May 2015

Pakistan, Afghanistan to hold high-level talks in UK

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Islamabad: Pakistan and Afghanistan will hold high-level talks in London on Wednesday to ease the current tensions, the Afghan Ambassador Omar Zakhilwal said has announced.

"I will join our National Security Adviser Hanif Atmar at the high-level Afghanistan-Pakistan meeting to be hosted by the British government in London tomorrow (Wednesday)," the Afghan ambassador said on Tuesday.

Adviser on Foreign Affairs to the Prime Minister Sartaj Aziz, and British National Security Adviser Mark Lyall Grant will attend from Pakistan and Britain respectively, Zakhilwal said on his official Facebook page.

The meeting will focus on a mechanism for genuine Pakistan-Afghan cooperation on fighting terrorism, the current tense bilateral relations and the closures of crossing routes between the two countries, he said.

The meeting will be held at a time when relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan is on the lowest ebb following last month`s bomb blasts in Pakistan.

The British ambassador in Kabul had been involved in efforts to broker the talks between the uneasy neighbours in recent weeks. He had visited Pakistan and met senior Pakistani leaders.

The attacks were claimed by the Pakistani militant groups, which officials said now operate from the Afghan side of the border.

Pakistan closed its main border crossings on February 17 over security concerns, pushing for its longstanding call on Afghanistan to agree on a border monitoring system to stop the cross-border movement of the militants.