Trump Writes to Pakistan's Khan to Seek Cooperation on Afghan Peace

Trump Writes to Pakistan's Khan to Seek Cooperation on Afghan Peace

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Pakistan's foreign ministry said on Monday that US President Donald Trump has written a letter to prime minister Imran Khan seeking Islamabad's support in securing a "negotiated settlement" to the war in Afghanistan.

"Since Pakistan has always advocated a political settlement to end war in Afghanistan, the USA decision is welcomed".

The rare contact between the two countries at the highest level comes as a Pakistan's traditionally tumultuous relationship with the United States has deteriorated over allegations the Taliban continues to use sanctuaries on Pakistani soil for attacks inside Afghanistan.

Addressing a meeting with journalists in Islamabad, the premier revealed that Trump, in his letter, sought Pakistan's assistance in the Afghan peace process.

"Pakistan reiterates its commitment to play the role of facilitator in good faith", the ministry statement said.

Imran further added that he had always believed only dialogue could bring stability in Afghanistan.

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"The letter also makes clear that Pakistan's assistance with the Afghan peace process is fundamental to building an enduring U.S. -Pakistan partnership", the White House official said.

According to the US State Department, Mr Khalilzad will travel to Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Belgium, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar with a delegation from December 2 to December 20.

The US envoy will meet Pakistan's civil-military leadership during his stay in the country and exchange views on ways to resolve the conflict in Afghanistan.

Last month, Trump had targeted Pakistan on Twitter and wrote, "We no longer pay Pakistan the $billions because they would take our money and do nothing for us, Bin Laden being a prime example, Afghanistan being another".

Prime Minister Khan had led the sharp reaction by political leaders to Trump's tirade against Pakistan by hinting at review of foreign policy options and asking the U.S. president to introspect on the real reasons for America's failure in Afghanistan.

Khan hit back by saying the United States should not blame Pakistan for its failings in Afghanistan.

"Pakistan has successfully fought against terrorism while also contributing to regional peace", a tweeted by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor quoted the army chief as saying.

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