Afghanistan-Pakistan ties key to peace: Afghan minister

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Afghanistan and Pakistan must settle their bitter differences in a drive to stabilise their conflict-ravaged neighbourhood, Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul said Wednesday.
“Our relations with Pakistan are fundamental for peace and stability not only in Afghanistan but Pakistan and also in the whole region, in the world,” Rassoul told reporters at an economic development conference in Lithuania focusing on his region.
“We have been engaged very deeply with the Pakistan government on discussing the fundamental issues, because terrorism and extremism is not only hurting Afghanistan, it is hurting Pakistan too,” he said. “It is time that we work together to find a solution. We are deeply engaged in that and hope that we will see tangible results soon,” he added.
Afghanistan and Pakistan have been locked in acrimony over attacks carried out across their porous and often unmarked border. Pakistan has said Pakistani Taliban are using havens in Afghanistan to resume attacks in northwestern Pakistan. Afghanistan, in turn, has complained about cross-border artillery shells and rockets being fired from Pakistan. The European Union’s Afghanistan envoy Vygaudas Usackas, who is from Lithuania, said bolstering ties among countries in the region was crucial. “The importance of peace and stability in Afghanistan is increasingly recognised by Afghanistan’s neighbours,” Usackas told the conference.