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All regional projects important for Pakistan: Spokesperson

Islamabad, Pakistan foreign ministry spokesperson says all regional connectivity projects related to Pakistan are important as they play a significant role in evolving political and economic situation in the region.

Speaking at his weekly news briefing in Islamabad on Friday, Muhammad Faisal, replying to a question regarding future of IP, TAPI and CPEC amid US pressure said for long term stability in the region Pakistan's national interests remain the main decisive factor.

He said Pakistan is cognizant of its role as an important bridge to promote regional connectivity, economic cooperation and development.

To another question, he said the US has provided training to Pakistan military officials under a specific program - International Military Education and Training- IMET, for the last many years. However, as of January this year, all security assistance to Pakistan was suspended. The IMET programme for Pakistani officers was also affected by this decision. Both countries are engaged to resolve all issues, he added.

The official confirmation came just days after media reports suggested that Trump's administration had quietly started cutting scores of Pakistani officers from coveted training and educational programmes that have been a hallmark of bilateral military relations for more than a decade.

The move, which has not been previously reported, is one of the first known impacts of Trump's decision this year to suspend US security assistance to Pakistan.

Muhammad Faisal to a question stated the fence is being constructed at Pak-Afghan border with the objective to regulate movement of men and material as part of counter terrorism efforts. He said it will also be important for long term regional stability and improvement of relations between the two countries.

The spokesperson said Pakistan and Afghanistan are engaged in developing a time bound repatriation plan for the early and complete return of Afghan refugees to their homeland. In this regard, an Afghan delegation will soon be visiting Islamabad for consultations.

Responding to a question, the spokesperson rejected as baseless the allegations hurled by the Afghan officials that elements from Pakistan were also involved in the recent terror attack in Ghazni. He said there is no evidence to back up the spurious accusations.

The spokesperson said Pakistan has always supported an Afghan led and Afghan owned peace process and it will welcome any ceasefire agreement between the parties there.

Faisal reiterated Pakistan's support for the people of Turkey in their quest for peace and prosperity. He said that Pakistan is opposed to imposition of any unilateral sanctions against any country.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA

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