Afghanistan agrees to join Pakistan in anti-terror operations

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-05 00:07:08|Editor: yan
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KABUL, July 4 (Xinhua) -- Afghan President Ashraf Ghani told a visiting U.S. delegation on Tuesday that Afghanistan agreed with a proposal to conduct joint raids with neighboring Pakistan along the joint borders, monitored by the United States, said a statement issued by the Presidential Palace.

A five-member delegation of the U.S. Senate, headed by Senator John McCain, chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, arrived in Afghanistan after visiting Pakistan.

The comments came as Taliban militants and Islamic State (IS) affiliates have escalated operations over the past couple of months and fierce fighting has been continuing in more than half of the country's 34 provinces.

"Afghanistan does not take American support for granted... U.S. and Afghanistan had a relationship based on mutual interest and mutual respect. What was taking place was not a war in Afghanistan, but a war over Afghanistan against transnational terrorist organizations," the statement quoted Ghani as saying.

"And there were questions now as to whether the Taliban was a criminal organization with a political front rather than the other way round. Transnational crime and narcotics meant there had to be a regional solution."

The statement added that the U.S. delegation were in Afghanistan to review progress in the war-torn country.

According to the statement members of the delegation agreed that a regional solution was needed to end the violence in Afghanistan and the region at large.

"The Senators said the head of Pakistan's armed forces, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, agreed to joint operations against terrorist groups in the border region. They said the U.S. would provide monitoring and verification of these operations," the statement said.

The delegation also met with Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah on Tuesday and exchanged views on matters pertaining mutual interest and overall situation in the region.

Senators Lindsey Graham, Elizabeth Warren, David Perdue and Sheldon Whitehouse were accompanying McCain during the visit.