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Acting Afghan Foreign Minister to Visit Pakistan from Today

by Newsweek Pakistan

Acting Afghan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi

In statement, Foreign Office says talks will center of bilateral ties, trade, cross-border movement and regional connectivity

A high-level ministerial delegation from Afghanistan, led by acting foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, will visit Islamabad on a three-day visit from today (Wednesday), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed on Tuesday.

“The visit is taking place as a follow-up to Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s visit to Kabul on Oct. 21,” read a statement issued by the Foreign Office. “The exchanges will center on Pakistan-Afghanistan relations with a particular focus inter alia on enhanced trade, facilitation of transit trade, cross-border movement, land and aviation links, people-to-people contacts, and regional connectivity,” it added.

The statement stressed that Pakistan had consistently urged the international community to “urgently provide humanitarian assistance and economic support” to Afghanistan to help alleviate the sufferings of the Afghan people. Global bodies have warned that the war-torn state is at risk of a humanitarian crisis, with multiple reports in recent days noting that children were dying of starvation and parents were being forced to choose between selling their offspring or letting them starve.

“For its part, Pakistan is extending humanitarian and economic assistance to the brotherly people of Afghanistan,” the Foreign Office said. “Pakistan remains committed to supporting a peaceful, stable, sovereign, prosperous and connected Afghanistan,” it added.

This is the first visit to Pakistan by a member of Afghanistan’s interim cabinet since the Taliban took control of Kabul in August. In addition to talks with Foreign Minister Qureshi, Muttaqi is expected to attend a meeting of the Troika Plus scheduled for Thursday (tomorrow).

The Troika Plus on Afghanistan would be attended by Pakistan’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Mohammad Sadiq; U.S. State Department’s Special Representative and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Afghanistan Thomas West; Russia’s special envoy for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov; and Chinese special envoy for Afghanistan Yue Xiaoyong.

The Troika Plus refers to a group comprising China, Russia, Pakistan and the U.S., which has major stakes in bringing peace to Afghanistan through regional consensus.

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