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Islamabad and Kabul have decided to resume talks at a high level by convening a meeting of the Pakistan-Afghanistan Joint Economic Commission (JEC) next month after a delay of almost two years, the media reported on Thursday.

It will be the first high-level talks between the two neighbouring countries since November 2015, reports Dawn news.

The proposal for resuming talks on economic issues in Kabul next month was made by Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal during a meeting with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Wednesday.

“It will be a great opportunity for Islamabad and Kabul to repair their diplomatic and business relations which have discontinued since November 2015,” an informed source told Dawn news.

The Finance Minister welcomed the proposal and said mutually convenient dates be decided to hold the session next month.

The two sides also discussed various issues of mutual interest, including the current state of bilateral relations, especially in the context of economic cooperation.

The JEC is a highly important forum that takes into consideration important issues, including trade facilitation, enhancement of bilateral and transit trade, highway and railway projects, scholarship scheme for Afghan students, as well as potential joint ventures in various other sectors, reports Dawn news.

One of the fallout of the suspension of talks was a decline in bilateral trade.

Pakistan’s exports to Afghanistan dropped by a significant 27 per cent over the past one year, owing to several factors.

First Published | 10 August 2017 12:36 PM
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Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal

JEC

Joint Economic Commission

trade talks

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