Germany urges Pakistan support for Afghan peace talks

German foreign minister calls for Pakistan and Afghanistan to work together in battling militants

Germany urges Pakistan support for Afghan peace talks

World Bulletin / News Desk

Germany's foreign minister used a visit to Pakistan on Monday to urge for its support in reviving suspended peace talks between the Afghan government and Taliban rebels. 

Frank Walter Steinmeier also called on Pakistan and Afghanistan to settle their disputes and work together to end the Taliban militancy that impacts both countries.

“Relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan have remained complicated in the past. This is high time for both countries to work together to combat terrorism,” Steinmeier said. 

He met with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz after earlier pledging Germany's support for the peace process during a visit to the Afghan capital Kabul. 

Steinmeier's visit immediately followed that of U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice on Sunday, as diplomats look to ease tension between Afghanistan and Pakistan and persuade Islamabad to use its alleged influence over the Taliban to resume peace talks. 

The much-publicized talks were suspended by the Taliban in July after the death of their leader Mullah Muhammed Omar was confirmed, opening up a leadership struggle within the group. 

A Pakistani foreign ministry official told Anadolu Agency on Sunday that they did not believe talks could resume in the near future. 

“We have made it clear to Ms Rice that there is no immediate possibility for the resumption of the process as the Taliban are engaged in sorting out their internal differences over leadership and talks with Afghan government,” the official said.

“And it is very difficult for Pakistan to continue its efforts to persuade the Taliban [to renew] talks if the Afghan government continues to heap the blame for its internal weaknesses on us.”

Rice also reportedly requested Pakistan take a stronger stance against the Haqqani network branch of the Taliban, which has been accused of numerous deadly attacks in Afghanistan but is believed to be based in Pakistan's northwestern tribal belt. 

The German foreign minister said he also raised concerns over Pakistan's setting up of military courts and the lifting of a ban on the death penalty. 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 31 Ağustos 2015, 14:39
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