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US, Pakistani officials discuss Afghanistan, refugees

US Representative for Afghanistan Thomas West meets Pakistan's caretaker foreign minister, his counterpart, other officials in Islamabad

Islamuddin Sajid  | 08.12.2023 - Update : 09.12.2023
US, Pakistani officials discuss Afghanistan, refugees


Senior officials from Pakistan and the US discussed the latest situation in Afghanistan, as well as Islamabad's efforts to deport undocumented foreigners, mostly Afghans, from the country.

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Thomas West arrived in Islamabad on Thursday and met with caretaker Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani, Pakistan's Representative for Afghanistan Asif Durrani, and other officials.

Jilani and West discussed bilateral issues, emphasizing the importance of collective approaches to promote prosperity and development for the people of Afghanistan, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement posted on X.

However, the ministry did not provide additional information about what the two senior officials discussed regarding the ongoing crackdown on undocumented Afghan refugees.

In October, Pakistan issued a one-month deadline for all undocumented foreigners to leave by Nov. 1 or face deportation.

Over 460,000 undocumented Afghan refugees left Pakistan last month.

According to the latest UN figures, 1.3 million Afghans are registered refugees, while 880,000 have legal permission to stay in Pakistan.

"We touched upon various issues in Afghanistan and the international response to it. Both sides emphasized more coordination and cooperation," Asif Durrani wrote on X following his meeting with West.

Ahead of his arrival to Islamabad, West said on X that during his visit to Pakistan, UAE, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia from Dec. 5 to 15, he will meet with key partners to discuss shared security interests, refugee protection and resettlement, humanitarian needs, human rights, and economic issues.

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