Qureshi meets African leaders on sidelines of OIC summit

Foreign minister informs his counterparts about Pakistan's 'Engage Africa' initiative


News Desk November 28, 2020
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of Somalia Balal Balal Mohamed Osman called on Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi on the sidelines of the 47th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) in Niamey, Niger on November 28, 2020. PHOTO: PID

Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Saturday met his Sudanese, Somali and Nigerien counterparts on the sidelines of the 47th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) in Niamey, Niger, according to the foreign office.

During the meeting with Sudanese Foreign Minister Omar Qamaruddin Ismail, the two sides exchanged views on bilateral relations and regional issues of common interest.

FM Qureshi stated that Pakistan and Sudan enjoy close fraternal relations based on common faith and similarity of views.

He highlighted Africa as an important continent with 1.3 billion population and 54 countries. Qureshi also informed about Pakistan’s “Engage Africa” initiative, aimed at developing closer, stronger and cooperative relations with the African nations.

The two foreign ministers also exchanged views on the ways to enhance trade and investment.

 

Qureshi stressed that there were enormous opportunities between the two countries in various fields, including security, education, health and agriculture.

Both sides agreed to maintain close contact and carry forward the process of strengthening bilateral cooperation in diverse fields.

Separately, FM Qureshi met Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of Somalia Balal Mohamed Osman and discussed a wide range of issues with a focus on Pakistan-Somalia relations and mutual support at multilateral fora.

Highlighting historical ties and Pakistan’s steadfast support to Somalia, the foreign minister reaffirmed the commitment to further promote bilateral cooperation in diverse fields, in particular in trade and investment.

He stated that Pakistan, under its “Engage Africa” initiative, attached high importance to its relations with Africa and Somalia.

The Somali Minister of State conveyed gratitude over Pakistan’s consistent support and expressed the desire to forge closer ties in a range of areas.

 

Briefing about overall environment in Somalia, he informed Qureshi on improving law and order situation in the country. He stated that Somalia would like to benefit from Pakistan’s continued support in human resource development as well as its expertise in countering terrorism.

The minister of state also invited Pakistani investors to take advantage of the investment opportunities in Somalia and identified the livestock, fisheries, agriculture and natural resources as key sectors in this regard.

FM Qureshi assured him of Pakistan’s full support for the reconstruction and economic development of Somalia.

The two sides agreed to maintain close contact to follow up on key areas of mutual interest.

FM Qureshi also met with his Niger counterpart Kalla Ankouraou and expressed satisfaction over the close brotherly relations between the two countries, marked by common faith and convergence of views and shared perspectives.

Highlighting the need for expanding economic and commercial ties between the two countries, the foreign minister offered to continue assisting Niger through various capacity-building programmes.

 

Thanking Niger for its long-held principled stance on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, FM Qureshi apprised the Niger foreign minister about the worsening human rights and humanitarian situation in IIOJK.

He briefed FM Kalla on India’s illegal and unilateral actions of August 5, 2019 and subsequent steps to alter the demographic structure of the occupied territory, in violation of UNSC resolutions and international law, especially the 4th Geneva Convention.

In the bilateral context, the two ministers agreed that exchange of high-level visits will provide further momentum to relations between the two countries.

The foreign minister reiterated his invitation to his Nigerien counterpart to visit Pakistan at his earliest convenience.

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