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Pakistani PM, Top Officials In Kabul


Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (2nd R), surveys the site of the newly opened Solar Park on May 5.

Pakistani TV says Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the country's top civil and military leaders have landed in Kabul for key talks on ways to step up cooperation between the two neighbors in the battle against militants on both sides of the border.

The visit follows an invitation from Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

Pakistani Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif and the head of Pakistan's intelligence agency, General Rizwan Akhtar, are part of the delegation.

The army says the delegation hopes to make progress on common issues of peace and development.

A Pakistani minister said the possibility of direct talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban rebels would be high on the agenda.

Pakistan and Afghan officials were encouraged by "some of the positive signals" reported by negotiators after recent talks between the Taliban and Afghan officials in the Persian Gulf state of Qatar, the unnamed minister said.

The Taliban has agreed to talk to the Afghan government but has made several demands including the withdrawal of all remaining U.S. troops from the country.

Based on reporting by AP and dpa
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