Afghan FM to visit Pakistan Friday to discuss peace process
Afghan Foreign Minister, Dr. Zalmai Rassoul, will be visiting Islamabad for bilateral talks on Friday, the Foreign Ministry said Thursday.
He will hold official talks with Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar that will focus on Islamabad's role in the Afghan peace process.
During this visit, Dr. Rassoul will also call on the Pakistani leadership, a Foreign Ministry statement said.
He will be accompanied by a high level delegation from the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The statement did not give any more details about agenda of the talks. However, official and Afghan diplomatic sources said that both sides will discuss joint efforts for reconciliation in Afghanistan.
The visit comes days after the trip to Islamabad by the Afghan peace envoy during which Pakistan released 13 Afghan Taliban prisoners, including a key military commander, to push the peace process.
Sources said that both sides are likely to discuss matters relating to a proposed strategic partnership agreement between the two neighbors.
President Karzai and his Pakistani counterpart had agreed in their meeting in New York, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in late September, to finalize a strategic partnership agreement by 2013 to strengthen bilateral relations.
Sources said that the Afghan Minister is expected to hold more consultations on the strategic partnership agreement. The two sides will also discuss the upcoming visit of President Hamid Karzai in two months.
There will also be a review on the progress made on the issue of providing a safe passage to the reconciled Taliban leaders in Afghanistan.