Qureshi discusses Afghan situation with OIC secretary general and Russian, Turkish FMs

Published August 21, 2021
This file photo shows Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi. — DawnNewsTV/File
This file photo shows Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi. — DawnNewsTV/File

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, in separate phone calls on Saturday, discussed the situation in Afghanistan with his Russian and Turkish counterparts Sergei Lavrov and Mevlut Cavusoglu, as well as Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Secretary General Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen.

Qureshi, in his conversation with Lavrov, stressed that a “peaceful and stable” Afghanistan was "extremely important" not just for Pakistan, but for the entire region.

He noted that Pakistan and Russia being a part of the “Troika Plus” — which includes Pakistan, the United States, Russia and China — played a pivotal role in establishing peace in Afghanistan.

The minister emphasised that ensuring the security of Afghan citizens and protecting their rights should be the first priority in the current situation.

“The path to lasting peace in Afghanistan can be paved through a comprehensive political settlement,” he said.

The two foreign ministers also agreed to continue mutual consultations in light of the changing situation in Afghanistan.

Qureshi highlighted that Pakistan had deep bilateral relations with Russia, adding that the former “also welcomed promotion of bilateral cooperation between the two countries in various fields.”

He also said Pakistan was committed to the early implementation of the Stream Gas Pipeline Project, a flagship strategic venture between the countries for gas transportation from Karachi to Kasur.

Qureshi warns of 'spoilers'

In a separate phone call, the foreign minister also spoke to OIC's Al-Othaimeen, and exchanged views on the rapidly changing situation in Afghanistan.

According to a statement shared by the Foreign Office, Qureshi underscored that Pakistan would continue to play its constructive role in promoting sustainable peace and stability in Afghanistan.

He reiterated the hope that Afghan parties would work for an inclusive political settlement. “The success of negotiations in Kabul would not only benefit Afghanistan but also the region.”

The minister stressed on the importance of ensuring the safety, security and protection of the rights of Afghans.

The foreign minister emphasised that it was imperative for the international community to remain engaged with Afghanistan by supporting the country’s economy, reconstruction, rehabilitation and humanitarian needs.

He added that it was also important for the Muslim world to show its solidarity with Afghan people in their quest for a "peaceful, united, stable and prosperous Afghanistan".

Highlighting the significance of efforts towards establishing an inclusive government, Qureshi also warned about spoilers within and outside Afghanistan seeking to exploit the situation.

The foreign minister highlighted the role played by Pakistan in facilitating evacuations and the relocation of personnel from diplomatic missions, international organisations, media and others from Afghanistan.

He expressed hope that the talks in Kabul would succeed, leading to an inclusive and participatory government that would bring lasting peace, progress and prosperity to Afghanistan.

The OIC secretary general also apprised the foreign minister of an “extraordinary meeting” of the organisation convened on August 22 (Sunday) to discuss the rapidly changing Afghan situation.

'Political situation in Afghanistan best way forward'

Speaking to his Turkish counterpart, Qureshi stated that President Arif Alvi's recent visit to Turkey for the launch of the Milgem Class Cor­vette for the Pakistan Navy had further strengthened bilateral cooperation.

During the call, the two FMs exchanged views on bilateral relations and reviewed the latest situation in Afghanistan.

The two ministers also recalled the recent phone call between Prime Minister Imran Khan and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about the 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 FO said.

He said that the National Security Committee (NSC) had underscored the importance of peace and stability in Afghanistan for Pakistan and the region, and expressed the hope that Afghan leaders would work together to achieve an inclusive political settlement.

Qureshi added that the current situation in Afghanistan required sustained international engagement to ensure stability and long-term economic development.

He also apprised his Turkish counterpart of Pakistan’s facilitative role in evacuating personnel from embassies, international organisations and media entities.

"Cavusoglu appreciated Pakistan’s role in the current situation and thanked Qureshi for facilitating Turkey’s evacuation efforts," the FO said.

The two FMs agreed to coordinate closely on the situation in Afghanistan.

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