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U.S. Presses Pakistan On Afghan Peace Talks

U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice.
U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice.

The United States is urging Pakistan to help restart peace talks between the Afghan government and Taliban insurgents.

U.S. national security adviser Susan Rice met on August 30 in Islamabad with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and military chief Raheel Sharif to discuss security issues in the region.

Rice was said to be seeking Pakistan's help in getting Afghan and Taliban officials to meet for the first time since July 7.

A second round of talks between the two sides was cancelled following the July 29 announcement that Taliban leader Mullah Omar had died in 2013.

The Taliban has stepped up attacks on Afghan security forces since the announcement of Omar's death.

Meanwhile, Rice said that President Barack Obama has invited Prime Minister Sharif to visit the White House in October.

Rice made the announcement in an August 30 tweet, saying she had "conveyed" the invitation to Sharif during her meeting in Islamabad.

A Pakistani army statement said Rice and Sharif "recognized the continued need for close coordination for ensuring peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region."

Based on reporting by dpa, Reuters, and AP