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US special envoy meets Pak FM, discusses Afghanistan

September 15, 2012 01:23 IST

US Special Envoy Marc Grossman met Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar on Friday and discussed the regional situation, especially the reconciliation process in Afghanistan that is crucial for the withdrawal of foreign troops from the war-torn country.

"The two sides exchanged views on the current status of bilateral relations, including developments in the region, particularly with respect to the political and reconciliation process in Afghanistan," said a brief statement issued by the Foreign Office.

Grossman, the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, was accompanied by Douglas Lute, Special Assistant to the US President on Pakistan and Afghanistan, and Peter Lavoy, Principal Deputy Secretary of Defence.

Khar expressed the hope that her upcoming visit to Washington later this month "would provide an opportunity to discuss vital issues based on mutual respect and mutual interest to move forward", the statement said.

Ahead of Grossman's arrival in Pakistan, the Pakistan Armys top commanders held a crucial meeting yesterday to discuss the revival of the strategic dialogue with the US and the Afghan reconciliation process.

Grossman, who is on a day-long visit, was expected to discuss the issue of giving safe passage to Taliban leaders so that they can participate in the Afghan peace process, media reports said.

His visit coincided with protests by hardline and extremist groups like the Jamaat-ud-Dawah over an anti-Islam film.

Friday's meeting of the Pakistan Army's corps commanders, which was chaired by Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, discussed relations with the US.

The issue of safe passage for Taliban leaders for the Afghan peace process figured in the meeting, sources said.

Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad
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