MOSCOW: Only a political settlement, fully cognizant of the socio-cultural, political and economic realities, can restore peace in Afghanistan, said a Pakistan official in a conference here.
A Pakistan delegation attending the Consultations on Afghanistan in Moscow to promote peace in the war-torn country, Radio Pakistan reported.
The phrase “Afghan-owned, Afghan-led” peace process, used by Pakistan earlier, has now been adopted as guiding principle in charting the collective way forward to achieve peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan, the Pakistan delegate said in the moot.
Earlier in the opening session on Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the participation of both Afghan leaders and the Taliban was an important contribution aimed at creating favourable conditions for the start of direct talks.
“I am counting on you holding a serious and constructive conversation that will justify the hopes of the Afghan people,” he said before the talks continued behind closed doors.
Russia hopes “with joint efforts a new page will open in the history of Afghanistan,” the Russian foreign minister said.
It was first meeting of the Moscow Format with participation of Afghan High Peace Council representatives and Afghan Taliban delegation from its political office in Doha.
India and the United States also attended the Moscow meeting as observers.
A statement on the conference released by the Russian foreign ministry said that participants of the meeting agreed to continue consultations within the framework of this mechanism.