Pakistan’s decision not to participate in Moscow peace talks

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s foreign office said on Thursday the country decided to stay away from the regional conference on Afghanistan, which is scheduled to be held this week in Moscow, however, it reiterated its commitment to be part of any initiative that had the potential to strengthen the peace in the region.

The two-day conference of national security advisors (NSA) of regional states began on Wednesday and brought together officials from India, China and Iran along with Central Asian countries.

“We have chosen not to participate in the Moscow meeting of regional stakeholders,” foreign office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch told journalists during her weekly news briefing, adding that her country was willing to attend all international initiative focusing on Afghan peace and security that could lead to constructive discussion.

Last week, Russian Special Presidential Envoy for Afghanistan, Director of the Foreign Ministry’s Second Asian Department Zamir Kabulov told TASS that a meeting on Afghanistan will be held in Moscow.

“Yes, that’s true,” he had said replying to a question on the matter.

“There will be regional participants, the secretaries of the security councils of countries in the region are invited — our Central Asian partners, as well as Pakistan, India and China,” the diplomat had explained.

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