Pak FM Qureshi discusses Afghan situation with UN chief

Pak FM Qureshi discusses Afghan situation with UN chief, UK foreign minister

Qureshi said that it was imperative for the international community to remain engaged with Afghanistan

Shah Mahmood Qureshi. Credit: AFP file photo

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Friday said that the country will continue to play its constructive role in support of the efforts to promote peace and stability in strife-torn Afghanistan.

Qureshi on Friday held a telephonic conversation with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and the two leaders exchanged views on the situation in Afghanistan, according to Foreign Office.

He said that it was imperative for the international community to remain engaged with Afghanistan, including by supporting the Afghan people’s socio-economic and humanitarian needs.

The Foreign Minister appreciated the contribution of the United Nations in addressing the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.

UN chief Guterres expressed gratitude for Pakistan’s role in facilitating the work and humanitarian mission of UN entities in Afghanistan. He sought Pakistan’s continued support in that regard.

The Foreign Minister assured Guterres of all possible support to the UN in the fulfilment of its mandate. He highlighted the facilitation being provided by Pakistan to the international community in evacuation and relocation efforts.

The Foreign Minister reaffirmed that Pakistan will continue to assist the UN in all possible ways.

Separately, Qureshi received a telephone call from Dominic Raab, Secretary for Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Affairs and First Secretary of State of the United Kingdom.

Views were exchanged on the latest developments in Afghanistan.

Noting that Pakistan was closely following the evolving situation, the Foreign Minister strongly condemned the terrorist attack near the Kabul Airport in which so many precious lives were lost.

Two suicide bombers and gunmen attacked crowds of Afghans flocking to the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul on Thursday, killing more than 100 people, including 13 US troops. The Islamic State's Afghanistan affiliate, dubbed Islamic State Khorasan or ISIS-K, claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Foreign Minister underscored that safety, security, stability and protection of the rights of all Afghans were critically important, adding that an inclusive political settlement was the best way forward.

Reiterating Pakistan’s commitment to regional peace, he said that Pakistan was in touch with regional and international partners. In this context, he emphasised the vital importance of peaceful and stable Afghanistan for Pakistan and the region.

The Foreign Minister added that it was essential for the world community to stay engaged with Afghanistan to stabilise the situation and help the Afghan people economically and continue providing humanitarian assistance.

He also highlighted Pakistan’s efforts in facilitating the evacuation of diplomatic personnel and staff of international organisations and others, including British nationals, and assured Pakistan’s continued support in this context.

In the bilateral context, the Foreign Minister shared concerns over the retention of Pakistan on the ‘Red List’ for the travel ban. He noted that the Covid-19 situation in Pakistan has improved and urged the UK government to reconsider its decision.

The UK Foreign Secretary shared UK’s perspective on the developments in Afghanistan and conveyed thanks for Pakistan’s support and facilitation in the evacuation efforts.

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