Qureshi meets Blinken, urges commitment with Taliban


UNITED NATIONS: Secretary of state Shah Mahmood Qureshi met US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in NY on Thursday on the sidelines of the 76th United Nations General Assembly session.

The meeting, which lasted almost an hour, began at 1 pm NY time at the Palace Hotel within the city, consistent with Blinken’s schedule on the website of the US Department of State.

This is the primary meeting between the 2 top diplomats and because the foreign minister’s statement after the meeting showed, it focused on Afghanistan.

Secretary Blinken is scheduled to offer a press briefing at 4:45 pm civil time and should mention this meeting also.

Mr. Qureshi said that close engagement between Pakistan and therefore the US had always been interdependent and an element for stability in South Asia. He reiterated Pakistan’s desire for a balanced relationship with the US that was anchored in trade, investment, energy, and regional connectivity.

According to the official Pakistani statement, the secretary of state reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to facilitating efforts for an inclusive political settlement in Afghanistan. Pakistan, he said, also believed that “only a stable and broad-based government in Afghanistan, which reflects its diversity and preserves the gains made by the country since 2001, would be ready to make sure that Afghan territory isn’t exploited by transnational terrorist groups ever again”.

Mr. Qureshi noted that a replacement political reality had emerged in Afghanistan, adding that “while the Taliban should be held to their commitments, the international community features a duty to assist the Afghan people to affect the growing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.”

He hoped that the planet wouldn’t repeat the error of disengaging with Afghanistan because it did within the 1990s.

But diplomatic sources in Washington say that the Biden administration isn’t yet able to engage with the Taliban and is waiting to ascertain if Kabul’s new rulers keep their promises to expand their government to incorporate non-Taliban members and to respect universal human rights.

Mr. Qureshi also raised the Kashmir issue within the meeting, highlighting the grave human rights situation in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and underscored the importance of resolving the Kashmir dispute for lasting peace and stability in South Asia.

Secretary Blinken appreciated Pakistan’s support for the evacuation folks citizens and other nationals from Afghanistan, and its continued efforts for peace within the region.

In a tweet on his official site, Mr. Qureshi said that in his meeting with Secretary Blinken he reiterated Pakistan’s specialize in a relationship anchored in trade, investment, energy, and regional connectivity.

“Shared with Secretary Blinken the importance of the international community holding the Taliban to their commitments; also, for an equivalent community to recognize its duty to assist the Afghan people with the growing humanitarian crisis,” he wrote.

“The world shouldn’t repeat the error of disengaging with Afghanistan consistently. there’s no military solution and Pakistan is committed to facilitating inclusive political settlement.”

He added that “Pakistan has long desired high-level contacts with the US leadership, particularly after the collapse of the US-backed government in Kabul”.

Mr. Qureshi, who is in NY to attend the UN General Assembly session, has held a series of bilateral meetings together with his counterparts from around the world. He used his meetings and other engagements to urge world leaders to remain engaged with Afghanistan’s new rulers.

Although Pakistan has been urging the planet to remain engaged with Afghanistan’s new rulers, it’s not yet publicly backed the Taliban’s involve a seat within the UN General Assembly.

By Thursday, it had been obvious that Afghanistan’s new rulers are unlikely to talk at or represent their country within the current session of the UN General Assembly. Representatives of the previous Afghan government, which collapsed last month when the Taliban captured Kabul, still occupy the Afghan mission at the United Nations. On Tuesday, they attended the session that US President Joe Biden addressed.

On Sept 15, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres received a letter from the currently accredited Afghan ambassador, Ghulam Isaczai, stating that he and other members of his team will represent Afghanistan at the 76th UNGA.

On Sept 20, the Taliban-controlled Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs also sent a communication to Guterres, requesting to participate within the current UNGA. A Taliban leader, Ameer Khan Muttaqi, signed the letter because the new Afghan secretary of state

In the letter, the Taliban also announced nominating their spokesperson Suhail Shaheen because of the new Afghan envoy to the UN.

Afghanistan is scheduled to deal with the UN General Assembly on Sept 27.

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