UK envoy visits Islamabad for Afghan peace talks

17:46, May 26, 2011      

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UK Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Mark Sedwill arrived in Islamabad on Thursday for talks with Pakistani leaders on bilateral and regional issues, focusing on reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan, diplomatic and official sources said.

Pakistan and UK are supporting the Afghan-driven reconciliation efforts to find out a political solution as the U.S. troops are scheduled to start withdrawal in July this year.

Mark Sedwill, who was appointed as the UK Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan last month, started his first visit to Islamabad in his present position and is likely to discuss options as how both countries push for a political solution to Afghan issues.

Ahead of his Islamabad visit, Mark Sedwill underscored the crucial role of Pakistan in the stability of Afghanistan and said Pakistan has a key role in helping its Western neighbor restore peace and stability.

Sedwill, a former British Deputy High Commissioner to Pakistan, noted with satisfaction Pakistan's cooperation towards stability in Afghanistan. He said he has noted significant change in this regard and the commitment by the Pakistani authorities to achieve lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan.

"Friendly and warm relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan are crucial if we are to make progress in whole of Afghanistan," he remarked.

Sedwill said it was in the interest of the NATO countries to help Pakistan gain market access for its produce both in Europe and in the Unites States as this would lead to revival of the Pakistani economy, generate employment and help wean people from extremists.

Source: Xinhua
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