- Stresses importance of ensuring safety and security as well as protection of rights of all Afghans
ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi Saturday continued speaking to his counterparts from a number of countries, including Russia, Turkey, Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium, apprising them of Pakistan's position on Afghanistan and urging the international community to remain engaged for ensuring stability and long-term economic development in Afghanistan.
According to Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri, Foreign Minister Qureshi discussed the situation in Afghanistan with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in a telephonic conversation, on Saturday. He said that the foreign minister emphasised that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan was of critical importance for Pakistan and the region.
Pakistan had consistently supported the Afghan peace process, he added. He said that Pakistan and Russia, as part of Troika Plus, had made valuable contributions to these efforts. The two foreign ministers agreed to continue working closely through the Troika Plus format, he added.
Foreign Minister Qureshi stressed the importance of ensuring safety and security as well as protection of rights of all Afghans. He further highlighted that an inclusive political settlement was the best way forward for peace and stability in Afghanistan. Pakistan was fully supporting efforts in that direction, he added.
Qureshi also apprised his Russian counterpart of Pakistan's outreach to regional countries for consultations on dealing with the challenges arising out of developments in Afghanistan. He also informed Foreign Minister Lavrov that upon request of several governments, Pakistan was facilitating evacuation of their diplomatic personnel, staff of international organisations, media and others from Afghanistan.
On bilateral level, Foreign Minister Qureshi expressed satisfaction at the upward trajectory of Pakistan-Russia relations. He reiterated the government's resolve for early implementation of the agreement on Pakistan Stream Gas Pipeline Project.
"The two foreign ministers agreed to boost bilateral cooperation in different areas, enhance high level exchanges and remain in close contact on matters relating to Afghanistan," the spokesperson added.
Foreign Minister Qureshi also telephoned Foreign Minister of Turkey Mevlut Cavusoglu and exchanged views on bilateral relations and reviewed the latest situation in Afghanistan.
Foreign Minister Qureshi stated that the recent visit of President Dr Arif Alvi to Turkey for the launching ceremony of MILGEM Naval Ship further strengthened bilateral cooperation.
The two foreign ministers also recalled the recent telephone conversation between Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about developments in Afghanistan. Reiterating Pakistan's support for a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan, Qureshi underlined the importance of an inclusive political solution as the best way forward.
The foreign minister added that Pakistan's National Security Committee (NSC) had underscored the importance of peace and stability in Afghanistan for Pakistan and the region. Qureshi expressed the hope that the Afghan leaders would work together to achieve inclusive political settlement.
He added the current situation in Afghanistan required sustained international engagement to ensure stability and long-term economic development. The foreign minister also apprised his Turkish counterpart of Pakistan's facilitative role in evacuation of personnel of embassies, international organisations, media entities, and others.
Foreign Minister Cavusoglu appreciated Pakistan's role in the current situation and thanked Foreign Minister Qureshi for facilitating Turkey's evacuation efforts. The two foreign ministers agreed to coordinate closely on the situation in Afghanistan.
Qureshi also received a telephone call from Heiko Maas, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany in which the two leaders exchanged views on the latest developments in Afghanistan. Foreign Minister Qureshi underlined the critical importance of peace and stability in Afghanistan.
He added that an inclusive political settlement was the best way forward and Pakistan supported efforts in that direction.
The foreign minister added that Pakistan was working closely with regional and international partners and that Pakistan and Germany had convergent views.
The foreign minister highlighted that Pakistan was undertaking wide diplomatic outreach to promote shared objectives. Foreign Minister Qureshi said that we must work together to bring peace and stability to Afghanistan.
The international community's support for Afghan peace process would be of vital importance in this regard. The foreign minister of Pakistan also stressed that it was important for the international community to remain engaged in support of the Afghan people for ensuring humanitarian and economic assistance.
Qureshi invited the German foreign minister to visit Pakistan to carry forward the process of substantive engagement between the two countries and close consultations on the Afghanistan issue. Foreign Minister Qureshi also received a telephone call from Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmes in which the two sides exchanged views on the situation in Afghanistan.
The foreign minister highlighted Pakistan's efforts to facilitate evacuation of diplomatic personnel and staff of international organisations and others from Afghanistan. The Belgian foreign minister conveyed thanks for Pakistan's support and facilitation in their evacuation endeavours.
In telephonic conversation with his Dutch counterpart Sigrid Kaag, Qureshi exchanged views on the situation in Afghanistan and matters of bilateral importance. Foreign Minister Qureshi said that safety, security and stability in Afghanistan were of critical importance and an inclusive political settlement was the best way forward. The foreign minister stressed that Pakistan and the Netherlands must work together both bilaterally as well as through the European Union.
The foreign minister apprised the Dutch foreign minister, of Pakistan's efforts for the evacuation of diplomatic personnel and staff of international organisations including Dutch nationals and others from Afghanistan.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021