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Monday Sep 11 2017

Khawaja Asif meets Iran FM, urges consensus among Afghanistan's neighbours


TEHRAN: Pakistan's Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif has stressed on Monday that Afghanistan's neighbours need to be on the same page if the Afghan conflict is to be resolved. 

He made the comments while talking to the media after a meeting with his Iranian counterpart, Javed Zarif, in Tehran.  

Asif, along with a delegation, reached the Iranian capital earlier in the day to discuss matters pertaining to the region and Pakistan-Iran relations.

"Afghanistan's neighbours have to agree on joint ventures to solve the Afghan conflict. The purpose of visiting Iran is to get neighbouring countries on board over some issues," he said. 

Peace in Afghanistan will have a positive effect on the whole region, he said further, adding that American forces have failed to solve the Afghan conflict. 

Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua and National Security Adviser Lt Gen (retd) Nasser Janjua are accompanying the foreign minister on the visit. 

Asif later held a meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and discussed issues concerning international and regional politics and security.

Meeting between the two delegations 

Asif, who previously served as the defence minister, shortly after the change of portfolio, visited China on a state visit. He held discussions on bilateral relations and matters of mutual interest in terms of regional and international strategies.

During his visit, he met his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi and held a joint press conference.

In the press conference, Wang emphasised China will continue its firm support for Pakistan in the war against terrorism, saying both the countries are steady anchors for peace in the region.

The relationship between China and Pakistan remains rock firm and unbreakable, Wang said, adding that China will continue to play its role in Pakistan's progress and development.

Asif thanked China for its "unflinching support for Pakistan" in the war against terrorism and its commitment to Pakistan's progress and development.

Pakistan's decision to approach regional countries was made following US President Donald Trump's recent 'anti-Pakistan' comments in a policy speech for South Asia. 

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