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  • News Desk
  • Dec 23rd, 2018
  • Comments Off on Afghan peace effort: FM terms US troops’ withdrawal a ‘step forward’
Pakistan on Saturday welcomed President Donald Trump's decision to slash US troop numbers in Afghanistan, calling it a step towards peace in the war-torn nation. The decision to pull around half of the 14,000 American troops in Afghanistan has stunned and dismayed diplomats and officials in Kabul, and comes amid a renewed push for talks with the Taliban to end the 17-year war.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the move was "a step forward" in the peace effort.

"The US reviewed its (Afghanistan) policy and then talks were held in Abu Dhabi, then there was progress in the talks and things are moving ahead," Qureshi told reporters in the central city of Multan. "We expect that things will move further."

Qureshi added that Pakistan had released some Taliban detainees to help facilitate the peace talks and to "create an enabling environment".

There has been no official comment from the Taliban, but one of the militant group's senior commanders on Friday welcomed the decision.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2018


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