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Moeed Yusuf, Faiz Hameed to visit US next week

WASHINGTON: Pakistan has a key role in a new US diplomatic offensive aimed at ensuring a peaceful transfer of power in Afghanistan, diplomatic sources told on Friday.

As part of this offensive, National Security Adviser Moeed Yusuf and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Director General Lt Gen Faiz Hameed are expected in Washington next week for talks with their American counterparts.

The effort includes visits by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to New Delhi and Kabul for talks aimed at formulating a regional response to the Afghan crisis, the sources said.

At a recent briefing in Washington, US State Department’s spokesperson Ned Price said the Biden administration hopes to “see Afghanistan’s neighbours play a constructive, responsible role in bringing about a just and durable solution” to the Afghan conflict.

In the same briefing, he also underlined Pakistan’s role in the peace process, saying: “We understand the crucial role that Pakistan has the potential to play in this regard.”

This would be the second meeting between Moeed Yusuf and his American counterpart Jake Sullivan, who first met in Geneva in March this year.

The icebreaker in Geneva was the first highest-level physical contact between the two countries since the Biden administration took office.

Secretary Blinken, however, had earlier twice spoken to Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa. Similarly, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin had also been in touch with Gen Bajwa.

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