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Will meet the Taliban and get them to talk to Afghan government, says Imran Khan at US Institute of Peace

Pak PM Imran Khan meets US secretary of state Mike Pompeo Photograph:( AFP )

WION Web Team Washington Jul 23, 2019, 09.12 PM (IST)

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan speaking at the US Institute of Peace said he will be meeting with the Taliban and "will try his best" for the Taliban to talk to the Afghan government.

"I will meet the Taliban and I will try my best to get them to talk to the Afghan government," Khan said during an appearance at the US Institute of Peace, news wire Reuters reported.

PM Imran Khan added that the Taliban delegation had wanted to meet him a few months back but he did not because of opposition from the Afghan government.

The Pakistan prime minister had met President Trump earlier at the White House where the two leaders discussed ways to end the conflict in Afghanistan.

"I think Pakistan is going to help us out to extricate ourselves," Trump had said while meeting PM Imran Khan at the White House. "We hope that in the coming days we will be able to urge the Taliban to speak to the Afghan government and come to a settlement, a political solution," Imran Khan told reporters later.

Meanwhile, the US State Department said US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad will travel to Afghanistan and to Qatar, where he will resume talks with the Taliban, from July 22 to August 1.

President Trump had created a virtual firestorm when he declared that he could win the Afghan war in "a week or ten days" during his meeting at the White House.

"We have been there (Afghanistan) for 19 years, and we've acted as policemen, not soldiers and again if we wanted to be soldiers it would be over in 10 days - one week to 10 days if we wanted to. But I have not chosen that," Trump said.

The US president, however, added that he hoped in the coming days the US will be able to "urge the Taliban to speak to the Afghan government and come to a settlement - a political solution."

Later on Tuesday, US secretary of state Mike Pompeo called on Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan at the Pakistan House in Washington DC. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Foreign secretary Sohail Mehmood and ambassador of Pakistan to USA Asad Majeed Khan were present during the meeting.

Story highlights

The Pakistan prime minister had met President Trump earlier at the White House where the two leaders discussed ways to end the conflict in Afghanistan.