ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his Afghan counterpart Salahuddin Rabbani on Monday agreed to enhance cooperation between the two countries to promote peace in the region.
“Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani called Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and congratulated him on his appointment as foreign minister,” read a statement released by the Foreign Office (FO). The statement added that Qureshi had accepted an invitation to visit Kabul.
Rabbani said that he hoped to strengthen relations between the two countries. Qureshi reiterated Pakistan’s stance that security and prosperity of the two countries are interlinked, emphasising cooperation.
“Both sides appreciated recent improvement in relations since the launch of APAPPS process in May 2018. It was noted that the framework provided the most comprehensive institutional mechanism to discuss all mutual issues. The two leaders agreed that the next round of APAPPS will be held soon in Islamabad. They also welcomed the holding of joint Pak-Afghan Ulema Conference in Islamabad, the dates for which are being finalised,” the FO statement added.
The duo also discussed the closure of Pakistan consulate in the Afghan city Jalalabad due to security issues. “The issue of closure of the Pakistan Consulate General in Jalalabad due to a security crisis was also discussed. Mr Qureshi requested the Afghan Government for restoring the previous security arrangements existing till 28th August 2018, so that the Consulate General’s normal functioning could be resumed at the earliest,” added the statement.
The FO added that Pakistan will continue to issue visas to patients and students residing in the jurisdiction of the Jalalabad consulate as an emergency measure.
FM Qureshi requested the restoration of previous security arrangements for the consulate general at the earliest with Rabbani assuring that action will be taken over the matter soon.