Qureshi leaves for four-nation tour to discuss Afghan situation

Published August 25, 2021
LANDI KOTAL: Trucks carrying transit and other goods wait for security clearance near the Torkham border post on Tuesday before crossing into Afghanistan.—PPI
LANDI KOTAL: Trucks carrying transit and other goods wait for security clearance near the Torkham border post on Tuesday before crossing into Afghanistan.—PPI

ISLAMABAD: As part of Pakistan’s efforts for an inclusive political settlement in Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi left on Tuesday for a visit to Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Iran.

According to a statement issued by the Foreign Office, during his visit the foreign minister will share Pakistan’s perspective on the latest developments in Afghanistan.

Pakistan believes that the neighbouring countries have a stake in the peace, security and stability of Afghanistan and the region. It is important to coordinate closely with the neighbours to address common challenges and advance shared goals of peace, security, stability and regional connectivity.

In the bilateral context, the foreign minister’s visit to these countries will build on the recent high-level exchanges to further intensify close relations. Pakistan desires to further deepen and broaden its multifaceted cooperation with these partners.

Receives call from his Australian counterpart

The visit would also help promote a coordinated regional approach as well as strengthen Pakistan’s engagement with Central and West Asia, said the statement.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Qureshi received a telephone call from Foreign Minister of Australia Marise Payne on Tuesday.

They discussed the current situation in Afghanistan. Mr Qureshi underscored the importance of security, stability and inclusive political settlement in Afghanistan.

He said that it was essential for the world community to support the people of Afghanistan to address the humanitarian situation and also provide economic assistance.

The foreign minister highlighted Pakistan’s efforts to facilitate evacuation of diplomatic personnel, staff of international organisations and other people from Afghanistan. The Australian foreign minister thanked Pakistan for its assistance in this regard.

Mr Qureshi said that Pakistan highly valued its relationship with Australia, having several strands of collaboration, including political, economic and cultural.

While expressing satisfaction on the current level of engagement, the two foreign ministers agreed on further enhancing high-level interactions.

Pakistan’s High Commissioners-designate to Australia and Canada Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri and Amir Khurram Rathore and Ambassador-designate to Switzerland Amir Shaukat separately called on the foreign minister.

Mr Qureshi expressed the hope that the appointment of seasoned diplomats would help strengthen Pakistan’s bilateral relationship with the respective countries.

Published in Dawn, August 25th, 2021

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