Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Thursday expressed concern on the resurgence of high levels of violence in Afghanistan and said it would strengthen the hands of spoilers, who did not wish to see return of peace in the region. Qureshi expressed these views during his meeting with Iran’s Special Envoy of Foreign Minister for Afghanistan, Ebrahim Taherian Fard, who called on him in Islamabad amid rising violence in Afghanistan and Taliban taking control of more areas in recent days. The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, Ms. Deborah Lyonsn earlier on Tuesday told the United Nations Security Council that more than 50 districts of Afghanistan’s total 370 districts have fallen since the beginning of May. “Most districts that have been taken surround provincial capitals, suggesting that the Taliban are positioning themselves to try and take these capitals once foreign forces are fully withdrawn,” she said. In his meeting,Qureshi emphasized the need for reduction in violence leading to corresponding ceasefire, urging the Afghan parties to seize this opportunity and leverage the international support for the peace process, according to a foreign office statement. During the meeting, views were exchanged on the Afghan peace process, regional security and issues of mutual interest as the Foreign Minister highlighted salient aspects of Pakistan’s consistent policy on Afghanistan. Emphasizing that there was no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Qureshi underscored that only a negotiated political settlement, through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned political process, would help achieve the desired objective of sustainable peace and stability in Afghanistan. He pointed out that both Pakistan and Iran have suffered due to instability in Afghanistan and stressed for a close coordination between the two countries. The Foreign Minister congratulated President-elect Ayatollah Sayyid Ebrahim Raisi on his victory and reaffirmed Islamabad’s commitment to further increase bilateral relations in all areas. Iran’s Special Envoy of the Foreign Minister for Afghanistan is on a two-day visit to Pakistan. He earlier visited Kabul and discussed his country’s proposals to push the peace process forward that also include an offer to host the Taliban and the Afghan government. Earlier, Taherian held talks with Afghan leaders in Kabul and assured his country’s full support for the Afghan peace process, Afghan officials said. The Afghan Minister of Foreign Affairs said Foreign Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar in meeting with the Iranian envoy underscored the urgent need to strengthen regional consensus for the success of the peace process and called Iran’s role in this regard important and valuable. Iran’s special envoy assured Minister Atmar of his government’s support to the peace process, stating that Tehran was ready to host the Afghan peace talks, according to a statement. Taherian added that Iran fully supported the Afghan government’s agenda for peace and all initiatives that contribute to the success of the Afghan Peace Process and preserve the Islamic Republic system. President Ghani arrives in Washington Afghan President Ashraf Ghani leading a high-ranked government delegation arrived in Washington on Thursday for a two-day official visit to the United States. Afghanistan state Bakhtar news agency reported President Ghani will separately meet with US President Joe Biden, members of Congress and Senate, high-ranking government officials and influential figures of US and discuss relations between the two countries, further strengthening diplomatic relations, financing, equipping and supporting the security and defense forces, US cooperation with Afghanistan’s economic and development sectors and the joint fight against terrorism. In this visit, the President is accompanied by Dr. Abdullah Abdullah Chairman of High Council for Peace Reconciliation, Amrullah Saleh First Vice-President, Mohammad Haneef Atmar Foreign Minister, Hamdullah Mohib, national security advisor, Wahed Omar, Head of the Department of Public and Strategic Communications of the presidential palace, Abdul Matin Big, Dr. Habiba Surabi and Dr. Fatima Gailani, member of the negotiating team of the government of Afghanistan and Shaharzad Akbar, Chairperson for the Afghanistan Independent Human Right Commission.