President Ashraf Ghani met with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan on the sideline of the 14th annual summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in the Saudi Arabia city of Mecca on Friday, the presidential palace said in a statement.
According to the statement, the two leaders exchanged views on bilateral ties, regional security, economic relations, the Afghan peace process, regional connectivity, and counter-terrorism.
The forthcoming visit of President Ashraf Ghani to Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan will provide an opportunity to further focus these issues, the statement said.
Reportedly, Ghani’s official visit to Islamabad is scheduled for next month as the upcoming trip will be his first visit since Khan took office last year.
President Ghani also expressed the Afghan government’s concerns regarding the closure of Pakistani air space for Afghanistan’s flights reaching to India and the Pakistani Prime Minister promised to address the issue, the statement added.
However, Imran Khan reaffirmed his country’s commitment to a peaceful and stable Afghanistan. He stressed that regional connectivity and integration, the peace process and fighting against terrorism are important because it will eliminate poverty and bring prosperity to the people of the region, the presidential palace said.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad said in a tweet on Saturday that he welcomes the meeting between the two leaders on the margins of OIC Summit.
“Improved Afghanistan-Pakistan ties are key to reaching, implementing and capitalizing on opportunities for regional connectivity, integration, and development. The U.S. stands ready to assist,” Khalilzad tweeted.