Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday said he hoped that the Islamabad-backed US-Taliban negotiations which was held a day earlier in the UAE, could bring an end to “almost three decades of suffering of the brave Afghan people”.
“Pakistan has helped in the dialogue between Taliban and the US in Abu Dhabi,” Khan tweeted.
“Let us pray that this leads to peace and ends almost three decades of suffering of the brave Afghan people. Pakistan will be doing everything within its power to further the peace process.”
Khan’s remarks come a day after US diplomats and Taliban representatives met in the United Arab Emirates for the first round of talks facilitated by Pakistan on finding a negotiated settlement for the Afghan war, Dawn news reported.
The meeting in Abu Dhabi was also attended by officials from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
There were no statements from the participating parties at the end of the daylong meeting, although Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal had officially announced the start of the talks through a tweet.
It was the third meeting between the Taliban and US officials since the appointment of Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad as Washington’s special envoy for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.
Their meeting last month had continued for three days.
However, it was the first meeting sponsored by Islamabad and also the first outside Doha which hosts Taliban’s political office and was the venue of the earlier two rounds.
Pakistan had arranged the meeting after receiving a request from US President Donald Trump for help in the peace process a fortnight ago.
The Afghan government was not represented at Monday’s meeting because Taliban have stood firmly on not talking to them whom they call the “puppet regime” and insisted on speaking directly to the US.