Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is prone to meet Afghan Taliban representatives throughout his go to to Pakistan beginning on Sunday, Pakistani authorities sources mentioned, a part of efforts to dealer an finish to Afghanistan’s 17-year-old civil struggle.
Pakistan has been taking part in an more and more very important position within the Afghanistan peace talks, which have been gathering momentum in latest months amid a rising U.S. need to tug out its troops.
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Together with different Gulf nations, Saudi Arabia has been a part of the peace negotiations and is seen to have some sway over the Afghan Taliban militants resulting from Riyadh’s historic ties with the hardline Islamist group and the dominion’s spiritual clout because the birthplace of Islam.
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Two senior Pakistani officers mentioned the crown prince was prone to meet Afghan Taliban representatives in Islamabad, the place the militants, combating to revive strict Islamic rule in Afghanistan after their 2001 ouster, say they’re resulting from meet U.S. representatives and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.
“Although it’s high secret thus far, there are sturdy indications representatives of the Afghan Taliban will meet Prince Salman throughout their go to of Pakistan on February 18,” one of many Pakistani officers in Islamabad mentioned.
A senior Taliban chief in Qatar mentioned no choice had been made on whether or not they would meet the crown prince.
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“Really assembly Prince Salman isn’t within the plan thus far however we will focus on it once we are in Islamabad,” mentioned the Taliban consultant.
Pakistan’s Overseas Workplace and Saudi Arabia’s authorities didn’t reply to a Reuters request for remark.
The crown prince is anticipated to remain to depart Pakistan on Monday after signing a raft of funding agreements within the power sector for greater than $10 billion.
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However his journey, which Islamabad is treating as the most important state go to in years, dangers being overshadowed by escalating tensions between India and Pakistan following a militant assault on Indian safety forces within the disputed Kashmir area.
New Delhi says Pakistan had a hand within the assault by a militant group which relies on Pakistani soil, one thing Islamabad denies.