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Pakistan, US Military Leaders Review Afghan Peace Efforts

 U.S. commander of foreign forces in Afghanistan traveled to Pakistan Thursday to discuss Afghan reconciliation efforts with Pakistan's military chief, officials said.Gen. Austin Scott Miller’s visit came amid reports of a possible U.S. troop drawdown in Afghanistan and a renewed push to negotiate peace with Taliban insurgents for ending the 17-year-old Afghan war.An army announcement said Pakistani General Qamar Javed Bajwa told Miller that Islamabad is committed to Afghan peace efforts.“Both expressed unanimity of views on importance of political resolution of [the] Afghan situation and underlined that only an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led inclusive process can lead to peace in Afghanistan,” the statement noted.Pakistan, which is accused of sheltering Afghan Taliban leaders, took credit for organizing two-day direct “peace talks” between U.S. and insurgent officials earlier in December in the United Arab Emirates. Representatives of Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the host country were also in attendance.The Taliban says its representatives at the negotiating table sought “a date or timeline” from U.S. interlocutors for a complete withdrawal of international forces from Afghanistan, citing their presence is the “biggest obstacle” in the way of peace.

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