Top U.S. commander in Afghanistan acknowledges Pakistan's role in peace talks

Top U.S. commander in Afghanistan acknowledges Pakistan
# 24 July 2015 02:31 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. The top American commander in Afghanistan on Thursday met Pakistan's army chief and acknowledged the country's role in the Afghan reconciliation process, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

General John F. Campbell, Commander Resolute Support Mission and United StatesForces-Afghanistan, visited Pakistan two weeks after the Afghan gov't and senior Taliban leaders held their first direct talks near the capital Islamabad.

An American official had also attended the talks at the scenic Murree city on July 7 as an observer, according to the Pakistani Foreign Ministry.

Efforts are now underway to hold the second round as the Taliban and the gov't leaders had agreed to continue talks.

The American general and Pakistan Army Chief General Raheel Sharif discussed "matters related to security situation along Pak- Afghan border region," the military said.

"General John F. Campbell acknowledged Pakistan's sincere efforts and particularly those of Pakistan Army Chief, for facilitating Murree Peace talks held recently in Pakistan," a statement from the army's Inter-Services Public Relations said.

The meeting coincided with reports that Afghanistan summoned Pakistani ambassador in Kabul and lodged a protest over the cross- border shelling.

Afghan officials claim at least four people have been killed in firing from the Pakistani side of the border in two days.

Pakistan has not commented on the claim. Officials previously rejected such claims and insist forces fire at areas from where the militants target Pakistani border posts and forces.

Cross-border shelling has been one of the main irritants in relations between the two countries.

Security officials say that Pakistani militants have crossed the border into Afghanistan as the result of military operations.

Afghan intelligence has confirmed that the U.S. drone killed two senior Dai'sh leaders, Hafiz Saeed Khan and Shahidullah Shahid, in Nangarahr province earlier this month. Khan and Shahid, both Pakistani nationals, and former Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan leaders had been operating from the Afghan side of the border.