Pakistan and Afghan leaders vow to resume Taliban peace talks
The leaders of Afghanistan and Pakistan agreed to work together to revive stalled peace talks with Taliban insurgents after meeting on the sidelines of a climate change conference in Paris, officials said.
Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani met Monday Nov. 30 amid heightened tensions over Kabul’s accusations that Islamabad aided the Taliban in their brief capture of the northern Afghan city of Kunduz in late September.
Pakistan, which wields considerable influence over the militants, hosted a historic first round of peace negotiations in July.
But the talks stalled soon thereafter when the Taliban belatedly confirmed the death of their longtime leader Mullah Omar.
The United States and China have been pushing for the process to restart, but frosty ties between Islamabad and Kabul have been hampering those efforts.
“Both leaders agreed to work with all those who would enter such a process as legitimate political actors and act, alongside the Afghan government, against those who refuse to take the path of peace,” read a statement by Pakistan’s government on Monday.
Hopes for better ties were high after Ghani’s election last year. But they have since plummeted, with Kabul blaming Islamabad for a surge in Taliban violence in 2015.