- Shah Mahmood says Pakistan hopes for Afghan parties to seize historic opportunity for a politically negotiated settlement
- Turkish foreign minister appreciated Pakistan’s conciliatory role in the Afghan peace process and also hinted at joint efforts to stabilize the region
(Karachi) Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi held a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on the sidelines of the Antalya Diplomacy Forum and discussed issues of mutual interest, including the Afghan peace process.
In a tweet on Sunday, Qureshi said: Great to meet FM @MevlutCavusoglu today, and congratulations on such a vibrant and engaging @AntalyaDF."
He added, "Turkey and Pakistan share excellent bilateral relations and I was happy to be a part of and lend my support to the #AntalyaDiplomacyForum."
The foreign minister stated that he discussed the 7th Session of High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council in #Turkey, 2021, and the latest developments related to the Afghanistan peace process & withdrawal of troops.
He added, "Pakistan hopes for Afghan parties to seize historic opportunity & for an inclusive, politically negotiated settlement."
He further said that Pakistan is committed to playing a positive role in bringing peace to the region, including Afghanistan.
Both leaders also discussed matters related to mutual interest and ways to mobilise the international community to help stop Indian aggression against innocent Kashmiris.
The FM apprised the Turkish foreign minister of the sentiment prevailing in Pakistan in support of the Palestinian and Kashmiri people.
Meanwhile, the Turkish foreign minister appreciated Pakistan’s conciliatory role in the Afghan peace process and also hinted at joint efforts to stabilize the region.
Earlier, addressing the inaugural session of the Pak-Afghan Bilateral Dialogue, Qureshi said Pakistan cannot be held responsible for the crises in Afghanistan and will continue to play a positive role in the success of intra-Afghan peace talks.
He stated Pakistan's reconciliatory role and the agreement between the US and Taliban in Doha will help maintain peace in the region. He maintained that Pakistan's efforts have been recognised internationally as part of the solution and not part of the problem.
He said there is no military solution to the Afghan conflict, adding that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan is in the interest of Pakistan and the whole region. He said that there are spoilers inside and outside Afghanistan and both parties should be fully cognisant of their nefarious designs.
In February 2020, a deal was struck between the United States and the Taliban in which it was agreed that 5,000 Taliban prisoners will be released before the commencement of peace talks.
On August 10, 2020, Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani issued a decree to release the final batch of prisoners demanded by the Taliban as a condition to move to peace talks. After negotiations, the Afghan government released the remaining Taliban prisoners, kicking off intra-Afghan peace talks.
The peace process began in Doha but was disrupted after violent incidents in Afghanistan. Later, United States President Joe Biden said that withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan would be complete by September this year. The president cited "tactical reasons" for the delay, but clarified it is not the US government's intention to keep the troops for a long time in the war-torn country.
He said that US soldiers must leave Afghanistan in a safe and orderly manner.
The two foreign ministers agreed to continue consultations for the development of bilateral relations and peace in the region.