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Afghan president to visit Pakistan on Monday

ISLAMABAD, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- Afghan president Hamid Karzai will pay daylong visit to Pakistan on Monday at the invitation of Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for talks on bilateral relations, regional security and peace in the neighboring country, Pakistan announced Sunday.

The Foreign Ministry said the Afghan president will be accompanied by a high-level delegation including cabinet ministers and senior officials.

This will be the first highest-level meeting between Pakistan and Afghanistan since the swearing-in of the new Pakistani government in June.

"President Karzai's visit will carry forward this process of constructive engagement between the two countries. The two leaders will have in-depth consultations on all issues of common interest, including the evolving situation in the region as well as ways to deepen and broaden Pakistan-Afghanistan bilateral relations," the Foreign Ministry said.

It said the Afghan President's visit comes at a time when Afghanistan is undergoing important political and security transitions and the withdrawal of NATO/ISAF forces is due to be completed by December 2014.

The Foreign Ministry said Karzai's visit will impart a strong impetus to ongoing efforts for an enhanced relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan and enable the leadership on both sides to further strengthen their joint endeavours in the pursuit of durable peace, stability and prosperity.

Sharif had sent his Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz, last month to discuss agenda of Karzai's visit to make the talks useful. The Foreign Ministry said that substantive talks were held on the Afghan peace process and bilateral relations.

The Foreign Ministry said peace and stability in Afghanistan are in Pakistan's vital interest and that Islamabad has extended consistent support for the promotion of peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.

"Pakistan remains committed to working with Afghanistan as well as regional and international partners for sustainable peace and development," it said.

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