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Negotiations Best Way to Bring Stability in Region: Pak Envoy

TEHRAN – Pakistani ambassador to Iran underlined watchfulness over US policies in the region saying the best way to bring peace and stability in the Middle East would be through negotiations, IRNA said Tuesday.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), Riffat Masood said, “We must collaborate further at all levels to bring peace and stability in our borders and to our region.”
“There are external forces and entities that seek to undermine the good relations between our two brotherly countries and we must not let them succeed,” she reiterated.
Condemning the recent terrorist attack in south-eastern Iran and killing and injuring scores of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) forces and describing it as a cowardly act of terror, Masood said, “Our deepest sympathies to all those affected by this heinous attack.”
“Pakistan will continue to work with Iran to bring an end to terrorism that affects our region,” she added.
“We feel that the United States is an important county; it is one of our largest trading partners, but we have to be very careful and very watchful of the US policy in Afghanistan and the US intentions in our region. That is why Pakistan is a country that believes in engagement.”
Pointing to Pakistan’s sufferings of the US sanctions in the past including those policies adopted on Afghanistan, she said, “We want to talk to everybody; we are ready to talk to any country or any organization that is working to bring about peace in this region and is working to bring stability to this region.”
Highlighting the need to hold talks with Taliban as a political force and a party in Afghanistan, she said, “In order for any peace process to be successful in Afghanistan, you need to talk to Taliban as well.”
I think now there is a realization not only among the US and the European Union but even among the countries in the region including Russia, China, India and Iran that Taliban are a party or a political force in Afghanistan and we have to negotiate with them, she said.
“Though the realization has come a bit late, it is good that it has come and all the countries of the region are talking to Taliban in their own capacities and way and it is a good thing that the United States is also realizing but of course it is doing for its interests,” she reiterated.
Masood went on to say that, “The United States does not want to continue to stay in Afghanistan. In what form it will stay or not to stay I don’t know, but I know that President Trump has announced that they want to draw down their troops and they don’t want to have the same situation in Afghanistan as was back in 90s.”
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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