FM meets Ghani, voices concern over violence in Afghanistan


Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in Dushanbe on Tuesday and discussed matters of bilateral interest, including the Afghan peace process.

Foreign Minister Qureshi, in the meeting that took place on the sidelines of the Ninth Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process Conference in the Tajik capital, expressed Pakistan’s desire for a peaceful and stable Afghanistan.

Mr Qureshi said Pakistan considered peace in Afghanistan vital for sustainable stability in the region.

He expressed concern over the rising incidents of violence in Afghanistan and said that Pakistan’s position remained the same that the Afghan problem could not be solved through military option.

Qureshi also meets Iranian FM on sidelines of Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process Conference

The foreign minister said Pakistan supported a political solution to the Afghan problem through comprehensive dialogue, adding that positive developments as a result of intra-Afghan talks could help bring Afghan peace process to a logical conclusion.

He said Pakistan was a partner for peace in Afghanistan and towards that end, Pakistan was constructively engaged with the international community to reinforce the efforts for peace.

The foreign minister further underlined that Intra-Afghan negotiations in Doha achieved progress which should lay the foundation to take the process forward.

He expressed the hope that as the peace efforts moved forward, the Afghans would make important decisions for reaching the negotiated political settlement.

Highlighting the importance of the regional connectivity, the foreign minister said that durable process in Afghanistan would enhance opportunities for working together on infrastructure and energy connectivity between Central Asia and West Asia through Afghanistan.

Foreign Minister Qureshi also held a separate meeting with Afghan Foreign Minister Haneef Atmar to discuss bilateral relations and the Afghan peace process.

Mr Qureshi arrived in Dushanbe on Monday where he participated in the Conference and highlighted Pakistan’s role in Afghan peace and the future strategy to contribute to sustainable stability of Afghanistan.

Also on Tuesday, Pakistan and Iran agreed on the need for expeditious finalisation of arrangement to facilitate legal trade and improve livelihood in border region, in light of Prime Minister Imran Khans initiative of joint border markets.

The matter was discussed in a meeting between Foreign Minister Qureshi and his Iranian counterpart Dr Javad Zarif, on the sidelines of the Ninth Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process Conference in Dushanbe, a Foreign Office press release said.

During the meeting, the two foreign ministers reviewed bilateral relations and exchanged views on regional issues, particularly the Afghan peace process.

Mr Qureshi emphasised the importance of enhanced bilateral economic cooperation.

The two foreign ministers also reviewed progress on the opening of a new border crossing point.

Foreign Minister Qureshi expressed the hope that the Afghan parties would seize the historic opportunity to work out an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned political settlement.

He underlined the need to consolidate progress achieved in Doha process and take the process forward. Expressing concern on high level of violence, he underscored the importance of reduction in violence leading to ceasefire.


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