In calls with Saudi, UAE, Qatari leaders, PM Imran emphasises ‘inclusive political settlement’ in Afghanistan

Published September 5, 2021
From L to R: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Prime Minister Imran Khan and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed. — AFP/Reuters/WAM
From L to R: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Prime Minister Imran Khan and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed. — AFP/Reuters/WAM

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday held telephonic conversations with the crown princes of Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi and the emir of Qatar to discuss bilateral relations and exchange views on the latest situation in Afghanistan.

In all three conversations, the premier highlighted the importance of a peaceful and stable Afghanistan for Pakistan and the region, and stressed that an "inclusive political settlement" was the best course to adopt in the war-ravaged country, where the Taliban are preparing to unveil their new government amid an economic turmoil nearly three weeks after they captured Kabul.

Saudi crown prince

During his call with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Prime Minister Imran underscored that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan was vital for Pakistan and regional stability, according to a press release issued by the Prime Minister's Office.

He stressed that the international community had "the responsibility to stand by the Afghan people and support them economically as well as to help rebuild the country".

The premier also emphasised the need to address Afghanistan's urgent humanitarian needs and take steps to ensure its economic stability.

"Both the leaders agreed on the importance of an inclusive political settlement in Afghanistan," the statement said, adding that they also called upon the international community to "step up its engagement" in order to avert any humanitarian and refugee crises.

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The prime minister reaffirmed Pakistan’s desire to further fortify its fraternal ties with Saudi Arabia as well as Pakistan’s support for the kingdom’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Recalling the two initiatives recently announced by the crown prince to tackle the adverse impacts of climate change and environmental degradation, the premier thanked MBS for inviting him to the launching ceremony of the Middle East Green Initiative (MGI), scheduled to be held in Riyadh in October.

During the conversation, Prime Minister Imran and the Saudi crown prince "agreed to work together to further augment and diversify bilateral ties in all spheres", the statement added.

Abu Dhabi's crown prince

The prime minister and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed also exchanged views on issues of bilateral interest as well as regional developments.

On the situation in Afghanistan, the premier again highlighted the importance of peace and stability in Afghanistan, saying an inclusive political settlement was "the best way forward to ensure safety and security as well as protection of the rights of the people of Afghanistan", according to the PMO.

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Imran stressed that the international community must remain engaged in order to support the Afghan people and address their dire humanitarian needs.

In his remarks, the prime minister reaffirmed "the importance Pakistan attaches to its strong fraternal ties with UAE and close cooperation between the two countries".

He also congratulated the crown prince for making "excellent arrangements" for the upcoming Expo 2020 and conveyed his best wishes for the success of the mega event.

The two leaders agreed to work together to enhance collaboration in all areas of common interest, the press release said.

Qatari emir

In Prime Minister Imran's conversation with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, bilateral relations and the evolving situation in Afghanistan were discussed.

The premier underlined that after 40 years of conflict and instability, there was an opportunity to establish lasting peace in Afghanistan.

Also read: Qatar emerges as key player in Afghanistan after US pullout

He said the world community "must remain positively engaged and support the Afghan people at this crucial juncture – both economically and to help rebuild the country".

Prime Minister Imran reaffirmed Pakistan’s desire to further strengthen political and economic ties with Qatar.

He also appreciated Qatar’s assistance to Pakistan during the Covid-19 pandemic, "in particular the care afforded to more than 200,000 Pakistani expatriates working for progress and development of both countries".

"The two leaders agreed to remain in close contact on bilateral matters as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest," according to the PMO.

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