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Pakistani PM Heads To Washington, Expected To Discuss Afghan Peace Talks

Pakistan's Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif addresses the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly at the UN in New York on September 30.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will begin a three-day visit to Washington starting October 20, said Pakistan's Foreign Office.

Analysts expect Washington will use the trip to urge Sharif to keep pushing for new rounds of peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters that Pakistan had already played an important role in Afghan peace talks.

Pakistan brokered the first set of direct talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government in July, but the negotiations were stalled by the revelation of the death of Taliban leader Mullah Omar.

Earlier this month, Sharif said he was trying to revive peace talks.

Sharif's visit comes as U.S. President Barack Obama reversed a decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, admitting Afghan forces were not yet ready to stand alone.

Pakistan has received $4.6 billion in aid from Washington since 2009.

The United States is currently set to give an estimated $794 million to Pakistan in aid in 2016.

Based on reporting by AFP and dpa