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ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Monday stressed the need for taking concrete measures to further strengthen trade and economic relations between Pakistan and the United States.

Qureshi was speaking to the US Under Secretary of State for Civil Defense, Democracy and Human Rights, Azra Zia, who met him along with her delegation at the sidelines of the 48th OIC Council of Foreign Ministers meeting. Zia along with her delegation would also be participating in the OIC-CFM.

According to a statement of the Foreign Office, the foreign minister welcomed the under secretary and her delegation to attend the 48th Meeting of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers.

Qureshi told the visiting Under Secretary of State that the OIC-CFM meeting is of special significance in the context of the current political, social and economic challenges facing the international community, especially the Muslim Ummah.

He said that the participation of the US delegation will help further improve relations between the United States and the OIC member states.

During the meeting, Pak-US bilateral relations were discussed, according to the statement, which also stated that the foreign minister emphasized that Pakistan and the United States have a long-standing relationship.

“Broad-based relations between the two countries are of utmost importance in promoting peace, development and security in the region,” Qureshi said.

From the recent exchanges of high-level congressional delegations, he added that parliamentary ties between the two countries have been further strengthened.

The foreign minister stressed the need for continuity of these high-level exchanges in the coming days to strengthen bilateral relations. “Pakistan is focusing on geopolitical priorities,” Qureshi said and also stressed the need to take concrete steps to further strengthen trade and economic relations between the two countries.

He said that this year marks the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and the United States.

It added that the foreign minister also briefed the Under Secretary on serious human rights violations in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), saying that the continuation of ongoing atrocities in occupied valley demands immediate attention of international community. “India should be held accountable for human rights crimes in occupied Kashmir,” Qureshi added.

The foreign minister also briefed the US Under Secretary of State on the alleged “accidental” firing of a supersonic missile from India into Pakistani territory.

He also emphasized that the cooperation between Pakistan and the United States could be beneficial for achieving positive results with regard to regional peace and stability.

The foreign minister underscored the need for making joint efforts to promote peace, stability, and development in Afghanistan.

According to the statement, the US Under Secretary of State congratulated Foreign Minister Qureshi on Pakistan hosting of the 48th meeting of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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