ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Sunday called for joint efforts to counter the growing tendency of Islamophobia and religious bias in different parts of the world.
The foreign minister, in an informal meeting with Secretary General of the Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) Dr Hadi Soleimanpour, said that being a founding ECO member, Pakistan was committed to regional integration and connectivity.
The meeting, held on the sidelines of the Antalya Diplomacy Forum in Turkey, discussed Pakistan’s vibrant role in the ECO, promotion of trade among member countries and other matters of mutual interest.
The foreign minister said that in the light of ECO framework, Pakistan was making sincere efforts to promote mutual trade, economic development and regional peace and stability.
He also called for continuous cooperation to achieve durable peace, development and reconstruction in Afghanistan.
The ECO secretary general appreciated Pakistan’s active role in the organisation as well as Prime Minister Imran Khan’s participation in the virtually held summit in March this year.
Meanwhile, Mr Qureshi met his Turkish counterpart Mevlt Avusoglu wherein they exchanged views on latest developments in the Afghan peace process and withdrawal of international troops there.
The meeting took place on the sidelines of Antalya Diplomacy Forum.
The foreign minister congratulated his Turkish counterpart on successfully organising the forum attended by high-level global leaders.
He noted that the forum provided an excellent opportunity to discuss and engage on various contemporary global issues.
While taking stock of the excellent bilateral relations between the two countries, the two sides discussed the ongoing preparations for the 7th session of the High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council to be held in Turkey this year.
Mr Qureshi lauded Turkey’s valuable efforts and its outreach to various Afghan parties.
Underscoring Pakistan’s abiding interest in a peaceful, secure and stable Afghanistan, the foreign minister mentioned Pakistan’s consistent efforts to facilitate the Afghan peace process.
He expressed the hope that the Afghan parties would seize the opportunity and work out an inclusive politically negotiated settlement.
It was Mr Qureshi’s third visit to Turkey in three months on the invitation of the Turkish foreign minister. The frequency of the high-level interaction between the two sides reflects the strength of the bilateral relationship.
Published in Dawn, June 21st, 2021