Qureshi stresses ‘close coordination’ on Afghanistan

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Discusses Afghan situation with Uzbek, Tajik FMs

 Staff Reporter
Islamabad

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Wednesday emphasised the need for “close coordination” on the situation in Afghanistan as he began a four-nation regional diplomacy tour.

A day earlier, Qureshi left for a visit to Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Iran in order to share Pakistan’s perspective on the latest developments in the war-torn neighbouring country.

In his meeting with Uzbekistan Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov in Tashkent, Qureshi discussed the regional security situation, particularly the evolving Afghanistan situation, according to a statement from the Foreign Office.

“Emphasising Pakistan’s support for an inclusive political setup, the foreign minister remarked that peace in Afghanistan would bring stability in the region, promote trade and facilitate people to people linkages,” the FO statement reads. “It was therefore important that neighbours of Afghanistan coordinate closely on the situation in Afghanistan.”
The two also discussed ways to strengthen bilateral relations, which they said had transformed into a “strategic partnership” due to recent frequent high-level exchanges.

They agreed to follow up on the implementation of decisions taken during Prime Minister Imran Khan’s recent visit to Uzbekistan.

“The two foreign ministers agreed to continue consultations to advance shared objectives of a peaceful, prosperous and connected region,” the FO statement said.

Similarly, in his meeting with Tajikistan’s Foreign Minister Sirojiddin Muhriddin, Qureshi underscored the importance of continued international engagement on Afghanistan as a shared responsibility.

He briefed his Tajik counterpart on Pakistan’s policy to support an inclusive political solution in Afghanistan and expressed hope that Afghan leaders would achieve a workable solution, the statement said.

It added that FM Muhriddin appreciated Qureshi’s initiative to reach out to Afghanistan’s neighbours for a coordinated approach and the two foreign ministers agreed to remain in close contact.

During his visit to Tajikistan, FM Qureshi also called upon President Emomali Rahmon and continued to stress the importance of a coordinated approach to realise the “shared objectives of a connected region” — which the Tajik president agreed with.

The foreign minister further said that both Pakistan and Tajikistan could benefit immensely from a peaceful and stable Afghanistan in terms of enhanced economic cooperation and connectivity.

“During the call, FM Qureshi conveyed warm greetings from Prime Minister Imran Khan and reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to strengthen relations in all areas of mutual interests.”

The Tajik president in turn said that he looked forward to receiving the premier at the SCO Summit next month.

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