12:01 GMT30 July 2021
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    NEW DELHI (Sputnik) - Afghan Foreign Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar on Tuesday met with Indian and Pakistani counterparts ahead of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) - Afghanistan Contact Group meeting in Dushanbe.

    On July 14, the Tajik capital will host the SCO foreign ministers' meeting and a special session with Atmar, as part of the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group.

    "[I] began my Dushanbe visit by meeting with Afghan FM @MHaneefAtmar. Appreciate his update on recent developments. Looking forward to the meeting of the SCO Contact Group on Afghanistan tomorrow," Indian Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar tweeted.

    Atmar also held negotiations with Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Hussain Qureshi "to discuss strengthening regional cooperation for the success of the Afghan Peace Process, Pakistan’s practical engagement on the joint fight against terrorism, and ensuring lasting peace and stability in the Afghanistan and the region," the Afghan foreign ministry reported.

    Qureshi said that Pakistan will continue efforts to stabilize the situation in the neighboring country, the ministry added.

    Afghanistan is seeing a spike in violence from the Taliban [a terror group, banned in Russia] as international troops are withdrawing from the country. The troop pullout was one of the points of agreement the Taliban and the United States reached in Doha in February 2020. In early July, the Pentagon said that the US had withdrawn over 90% of American military personnel and equipment from Afghanistan.

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