US, Pakistan Discuss Afghan Peace Process over Phone

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discussed over the phone with his Pakistani counterpart on Friday the ongoing process to end the Afghan conflict as the country enters a critical phase in peace talks.

In reading out Pompeo’s call with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, State Department spokesman Cale Brown said the top diplomats “discussed a range of issues” that included “the importance of US-Pakistan cooperation on the Afghan peace process and the importance of efforts to support regional stability.”

He did not offer further specifics on the other topics the officials addressed.

The US-Pakistan phone call comes as the Afghan capital on Friday began a legal assembly of elders — the highest consultative body — from across the country known as a Loya Jirga to discuss the fate of 400 Taliban prisoners and future of peace talks.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani promised the long-awaited direct talks with the Taliban would commence as soon as the council decides on the fate of captive Taliban insurgents.

“ … the sooner you [council participants] decide, the better it is so that the talks between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban begins,” said Ghani while defending democratic system in the face of insurgents bent upon reviving their “Islamic Emirate” in the country.

8 / August 2020
#