Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi announced that facilitation by Pakistan led to the US-Taliban peace agreement and subsequently paved the way for intra-Afghan negotiations. He said it on his second day of three-day visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). FM expressed the hope that Afghan parties would work constructively to achieve shared objective of a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan.
Mr Qureshi underscored Islamabad’s consistent policy to enhance bilateral relations and facilitate Afghan peace process by highlighting the country’s abiding interest in a peaceful, secure and stable Afghanistan.
FM took it to Twitter after receiving a call from his Afghan counterpart Hanif Atmar on Sunday and said,
“We support reconciliation in Afghanistan and progress in peace process, in Istanbul. I look forward to meeting FM Atmar at Istanbul Conf & to hosting him in Pakistan soon after to discuss a way forward post conf.”
While discussing the evolving peace process and the US announcement to withdraw forces, Mr Qureshi reiterated Pakistan’s consistent policy to support an orderly and responsible withdrawal of foreign troops. With a view to continuing close consultations, he also invited Mr Atmar to visit Pakistan after the meeting in Istanbul.
Separately, FM Qureshi also clarified that he had no meeting scheduled with his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar but expressed willingness to talk with Delhi if it took back its steps of August 5, saying that Pakistan could not ignore the Kashmir issue.
The foreign ministers of India and Pakistan made crossover visits to the UAE this weekend, days after UAE’s envoy to Washington Yousef Al Otaiba confirmed that the Gulf nation had played a role “in bringing the Kashmir escalation down and created a ceasefire, hopefully”.
While addressing a press conference after visiting Pakistan pavilion at World Expo-2020 to be held later this year, Mr Qureshi termed the mega event a landmark achievement for the UAE and the entire region.
“Pakistan is delighted to be a part of Expo2020 with the Pakistan Pavilion, in collaboration with the UAE government,” he said.
The presence of Pakistan pavilion in the international expo was a manifestation of decades-old friendship between Pakistan and the UAE, he said, adding that it also showed the enhanced economic ties and bilateral cooperation between the two brotherly countries in different sectors.
He expressed the hope that his visit to the UAE would strengthen their bilateral ties and announced that he would have a meeting with his counterpart in the UAE on Monday.