Dutch FM expected in Islamabad today to discuss Afghan situation, evacuation efforts

Published September 1, 2021
In this file photo, Dutch Foreign Minister Sigrid Kaag  speaks during a debate  in The Hague, Netherlands. — Reuters/File
In this file photo, Dutch Foreign Minister Sigrid Kaag speaks during a debate in The Hague, Netherlands. — Reuters/File

Dutch Foreign Minister Sigrid Kaag is expected in Islamabad today (Wednesday) to discuss the evolving situation in Afghanistan with her Pakistani counterpart, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, according to a statement issued by the Foreign Office (FO).

The statement said the talks between the two foreign ministers would focus on measures needed for the transportation to the Netherlands of Dutch and eligible Afghan citizens, who have not been evacuated from the war-torn country yet.

Qureshi and Kaag are also "expected to talk about the recent developments [in Afghanistan], the scope for keeping borders and Kabul airport open, the importance of safe departure routes and possible support to that end from Pakistan", the statement said.

"Future efforts relating to Afghanistan and the importance of security and stability, both in Afghanistan itself and in the wider region, will also come under discussion," it added.

In addition, the FO said, the foreign minister would discuss longstanding bilateral and economic relations between Pakistan and the Netherlands.

The visit by the Dutch foreign minister will be another development on the diplomatic front in connection with the situation in Afghanistan, following the US drawdown and Taliban takeover of the country.

In recent days, Pakistan has been emphasising the need for close coordination of the international community for the restoration of peace in Afghanistan and has stepped up diplomatic efforts for the same.

A day earlier, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas visited Islamabad on Qureshi's invitation. He held separate meetings with Qureshi and Prime Minister Imran Khan on the situation in Afghanistan.

During the meetings, both sides emphasised the need for the formation of an inclusive government in Afghanistan.

On the occasion, Prime Minister Imran Khan had emphasised that urgent steps were needed to stabilise the security situation in Afghanistan and address the country's humanitarian needs.

Along the same lines, Qureshi had stressed the need for the international community to remain engaged in Afghanistan for ensuring peace and stability there.

In this connection, Qureshi had gone for a four-nation visit to Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Iran last week.

After the visit, Qureshi had said Afghanistan's neighbours were "fully aware" of the situation in Kabul and their approach towards the issue "was realistic".

"I had the opportunity to learn about their views on Afghanistan during my four-nation tour," he had said. "The entire region will benefit if there is peace and stability in Afghanistan."

He had added that the Taliban leadership was also in contact with all the countries.

"The people of Afghanistan have been dealing with wars for decades and want peace. They are suffering for the mistakes made in the past. We need to learn from the mistakes made in the past so that they are not repeated."

Opinion

On writing

On writing

There is no ceremony or ritual that marks any person as a writer except the simple yet unimaginably significant act of starting to write.

Editorial

A way forward
Updated 17 Jul, 2024

A way forward

Before political leaders inflict more damage, they must give talks a chance.
Export delusions
Updated 18 Jul, 2024

Export delusions

Plummeting exports as a ratio of GDP is one of the major reasons driving the current economic slowdown and the balance-of-payments crisis.
Diversity in UK politics
17 Jul, 2024

Diversity in UK politics

THE recent UK elections have ushered in the most diverse parliament in the nation’s history. Under the leadership...
Banning PTI
Updated 16 Jul, 2024

Banning PTI

It appears that the govt and its backers within the establishment have still not realised that they are in uncharted territory.
Nato at 75
16 Jul, 2024

Nato at 75

EMERGING from the ashes of World War II, and locked in confrontation with the Soviet-led Communist bloc for over ...
Non-stop massacres
16 Jul, 2024

Non-stop massacres

Netanyahu is cunningly pretending to talk peace while mercilessly pounding Gaza. What is clear is that a return to pre-Oct 7 status quo is impossible.