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Qureshi Urges US to Remain Engaged in Rebuilding Afghanistan

17 Jan 2020 Tolo News

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi at an event Thursday hosted by a think tank in Washington, D.C. called on the United States to remain engaged in Afghanistan even if it eventually withdraws its troops from the country.

Speaking at a discussion held by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Qureshi said that the US should not repeat a policy of neglect toward Afghanistan after it did in the late 1980s.

“Do not repeat the '80s,” said Qureshi, who is scheduled to meet US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday, January 17. “Even if there is a successful agreement, challenges will remain there, so the United States and its friends and coalition partners will have to have a more responsible withdrawal.”

He reiterated that the US “should remain engaged -- not to fight, but to rebuild.”

The United States has been engaged in Afghanistan in the fight against terrorism and reconstruction efforts since 2001 when the Taliban regime was toppled. US has 13,000 troops in Afghanistan.

Qureshi in a video message on Thursday said that Afghanistan and Pakistan “need stability,” and “good progress” has been made as the Taliban shows “they are ready for a reduction in violence.”

Qureshi said that negotiations have continued between the US and Taliban, and Pakistan wants progress toward peace as both countries “have a need for peace.”

Pakistan has played its role, he said, and he “hopes that the entire region will seek peace.”

India’s chief of defense staff, General Bipin Rawat, on Thursday said that he supported a negotiated peace deal between the US and Taliban in Afghanistan.

“I think the negotiations must last to peace and it should not be temporary measure to find an exit,” he said, adding that “today the Afghan defense forces need support, they need technology, they need air support.”

Original Link: https://tolonews.com/index.php/afghanistan/qureshi-urges-us-remain-engaged-rebuilding-afghanistan

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