Urging the international community to continue to engage with the Taliban, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that engagements will help consolidate peace and stability and promote sustainable economic development in Afghanistan. “No one wishes to see a relapse into civil war; no one wants an economic collapse that will spur instability. we all want to prevent a new refugee crisis,” Ariana News quoted Qureshi as saying during his address at the opening of the Troika Plus meeting here on Thursday. The minister also emphasised that all regional countries have concerns and a shared interest in Afghanistan’s peace and stability, reported Geo News. Stressing that everyone wants terrorist elements that are operating inside Afghanistan to be tackled effectively, Qureshi said that the meeting reflects the common desire to see a “peaceful, stable, unified, sovereign and prosperous Afghanistan”. “Located next door, we have borne the brunt of four decades of conflict and instability in the shape of refugees, drugs and terrorism,” Qureshi said, adding, “We see the current situation as an opportunity to end the prolonged conflict.”

The meeting, held at Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs here, is being chaired by Qureshi and National Security Advisor Moeed Yusuf. The dialogue is being attended by representatives from the US, Russia, China and a high-level delegation led by the Taliban government’s Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi. The US special representative to Afghanistan Thomas West and participating officials of the other three countries will meet Muttaqi here.

Last year, the previous meeting in this format was held in Doha, where the US was represented by the former special envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad. This is the first full-fledged meeting of the Troika Plus after the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan. The meeting comes a day after India chaired the Delhi Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan, with the participation of seven countries – Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Russian, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.