Pakistan Foreign Office makes important statement over Afghanistan peace deal linked with Taliban

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Pakistan Foreign Office makes important statement over Afghanistan peace deal linked with Taliban

WASHINGTON: Pakistan Foreign Office makes important statement over Afghanistan peace deal linked with Taliban.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Thursday that the Taliban had expressed a "willingness to reduce violence", expressing the hope that an agreement between the militants and the US will see peace prevail in Afghanistan.

In a video message shared from the official Instagram account of the foreign office, Qureshi said "a step towards a peace agreement" had been taken today.

"Today, a positive development has surfaced [regarding the Afghan peace process]," said the foreign minister in a video message. "The Taliban have expressed their willingness to the demand of reduction in violence. In my opinion, this is a step towards a peace agreement," he added.

Qureshi said Pakistan had played a responsible part in ensuring peace prevailed in the region. He said Islamabad wished for peace to prevail in Afghanistan and Pakistan as well.

According to the AFP, two insurgent sources said the Taliban have offered a cease-fire to the US, a move that could allow for the resumption of talks seeking a deal for Washington to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. Both countries have been fighting a war for the past 18 years that has seen thousands killed, injured and displaced in the country.

After nearly two decades of fighting, Washington wants to withdraw US troops from the country but not without security guarantees.

For weeks it has been calling on the Taliban to reduce violence, posing it as a condition for resuming formal negotiations on an agreement that would see US troops begin to leave the country.