Pakistan to be part of China-Russia Afghan peace efforts

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Russia – China to hold Afghanistan peace talks with SCO member states including Pakistan

Afghanistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said on Tuesday that Moscow will host the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) contact group meeting on Afghanistan on Wednesday.

According to the foreign ministry, the meeting will be attended by the deputy foreignministers of Shanghai Cooperation Organization member countries as well as by Afghanistan’s deputy foreign minister.

The meeting will be chaired jointly by Afghanistan and Russia.

“The issues that we will follow there are: chairing the meeting jointly, discussing gaining membership of SCO, discussing security and economic cooperation and also cooperation for peace talks,” the foreign ministry’s deputy spokesman Sebghat Saba said.

Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan are members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and Afghanistan has observer status.

This comes ahead of another key meeting – the quadrilateral meeting with China, Russia, Pakistan and the US – which is scheduled to take place on October 16 in Oman.In addition the Kabul Process meeting will also take place in about three months.

A number of politicians meanwhile said Shanghai Cooperation Organization member countries can play a significant role in Afghanistan’s stability and Afghanistan’s peace talks.

Politicians also said following the new US strategy on Afghanistan and South Asia, efforts have increased regarding Afghanistan’s peace process and peace negotiations.

“This is a process and it’s good that it starts. We hope that the main peace talks get started, but I don’t think there will be any progress, unless the Taliban shows an interest in negotiations,” Anwar ul-Haq Ahadi, head of the New National Front of Afghanistan said.

A number of political affairs analysts however said if Iran and Pakistan do not cooperate with Afghanistan, reaching peace and security is impossible.

“Government has failed to get the most out of such meetings so far. In the Shanghai meeting also if our far and near neighbors, especially the regional powers such asRussia and China, were not involved in Afghanistan’s peace issues, we would not witness peace here,” political affairs analyst Sayed Ishaq Gailani said.

Shanghai Cooperation Organization is a political, economic and security organization that was formed in China’s Shanghai city in 2001.

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