PR No.306 Islamabad

The Prime Minister of Pakistan Mr. Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and President of Afghanistan Mr. Ashraf Ghani, met in Paris today, where both were attending the Climate Change conference, says a press release received from Paris here today.

In an atmosphere of warmth and cordiality, the two leaders held an extensive exchange of views, focusing mainly on the peace process in Afghanistan.

The Prime Minister affirmed his desire to establish a friendly cooperative relationship with Afghanistan. He stressed that Pakistan remains committed to working with Afghanistan as an equal, sovereign state. Pakistan regarded the National Unity Government as the only legitimate, democratically-elected partner for Pakistan.

The Prime Minister emphasized that peace and stability in Afghanistan remained our key goal, and Pakistan has committed to building a long-term partnership with its neighbours, to build a stable Afghanistan, in the interests of the entire region.

President Ashraf Ghani reciprocated the sentiments of working with Pakistan to develop peaceful, friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries.

The Prime Minister briefed the President on the robust military campaign against all terrorists underway in Pakistan through operation Zerb-e-Azb, including those who use violence against Afghanistan, He said that Pakistan and Afghanistan face a common threat and assured that Pakistan would take all efforts to tackle the menace of terrorism facing the two countries.

Discussions were also held on resumption of the peace and reconciliation process. The Prime Minister offered Pakistan’s good offices to support an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process. Both leaders agreed to work with all those who would enter such a process as legitimate political actors and act, alongside the Afghan government, against those who refuse to take the path of peace.

The two leaders agreed that the economic and trade cooperation between the two countries was an important area of shared interest. The Prime Minister emphasized that Pakistan was determined to work with Afghanistan to improve regional economic links and was ready to take concrete steps to improve such links, to the benefit of both countries.