FM Qureshi holds delegation-level talks with Afghani counterpart | Pakistan Today

FM Qureshi holds delegation-level talks with Afghani counterpart

–FM Qureshi calls on Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, exchanges views on Afghan peace plan

–Foreign minister pays his maiden visit to Iran, discusses ways to strengthen mutually beneficial economic cooperation, development

KABUL: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi met his Afghani counterpart Salahuddin Rabbani in Kabul on Monday where both held delegation-level talks.

The foreign minister departed for Kabul on the first leg of his four-nation visit as part of the government’s policy of outreach in the neighbourhood where he also called on Afghan President Muhammad Ashraf Ghani.

According to a Foreign Office press release, the representatives discussed issues of mutual interest, progress on Afghan peace and reconciliation process and economic and trade issues.

IRAN VISIT:

FM Qureshi along with the foreign secretary and senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs arrived in Tehran later on Monday to hold talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Dr Javad Zarif and senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Islamic Republic of Iran as part of the government’s policy of outreach in the neighbourhood. It was FM Qureshi’s first official visit to Iran.

Foreign Minister held detailed talks with his Iranian counterpart on strengthening the already close bilateral relations rooted in common history, culture and people-to-people ties and reaffirmed to increase cooperation. The foreign minister elaborated that Prime Minister Imran Khan envisions strengthening ties with Iran in diverse fields with emphasis on expanding mutually beneficial economic cooperation and development.

Iranian FM Zarif reaffirmed Iran’s commitment to deepening relations with Pakistan in trade, investment, connectivity and border management.

Both sides also exchanged views on the evolving regional and international situation. The two foreign ministers deliberated on recent developments concerning peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan and on the ways to strengthen cooperation in supporting an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process. Pakistan and Iran being the closest neighbours of Afghanistan, sharing the longest borders with Afghanistan, have important status and role in the Afghan peace process, the two sides converged.

It was discussed that Iran and Pakistan hold central roles in evolving a shared approach for long-term economic progress and prosperity in the region. Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan need to work together as nobody else loses or gains more in this regard, it was urged.

OUTREACH PLAN:

FM Qureshi is on a four-nation tour in which he will visit Afghanistan, Iran, China and Russia from December 24-26, 2018.

During the visits, the foreign minister will discuss Pakistan’s bilateral relations with the senior leadership of these countries, to strengthen cooperation in various areas.

“Implementing the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan, Pakistan is eager to strengthen ties with neighbours and regional partners. Such cooperation is the key to unleashing Pakistan’s considerable potential and expanding mutually beneficial economic cooperation and development,” the official statement issued on Monday said.

Besides detailed exchange of views on important areas of bilateral cooperation, views will also be exchanged on the fast-changing regional and international environment. Recent developments concerning peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan would also be discussed during these meetings.

“Pakistan has always maintained that the solution to the conflict in Afghanistan lies in an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process. International community’s recent consensus to adopt this as the guiding principle to resolve the 40-years old Afghan conflict, vindicates Pakistan’s long-held view,” the release added.

The visit is part of promoting various initiatives and ideas for regional cooperation, especially to encourage economic and people-to-people linkages.



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