Qureshi apprises German FM of Afghan peace efforts

Tells Maas all-out efforts must be made for reduction of violence leading to a ceasefire


Our Correspondent April 29, 2021
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas arrives in Islamabad right on the heels of Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi's visit to Germany. PHOTO: FILE.

ISLAMABAD:

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Thursday told his German counterpart Heiko Maas that all-out efforts must be made for “reduction of violence leading to a ceasefire” in Afghanistan.

“Peace in Afghanistan will yield other significant dividends including enhanced trade and regional connectivity,” Qureshi said during a meeting with the German foreign minister at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Maas was on an official visit to Islamabad.

In the meeting, the two ministers discussed issues of mutual interest including the challenges posed by the coronavirus, bilateral relations, situation in the region and the Afghan peace process.

“Afghan stakeholders must engage constructively to work out an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political solution, through an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led process,” Qureshi said.

Qureshi apprised Maas of Pakistan's steadfast support for a peaceful and stable Afghanistan and positive contributions to the Afghan peace process.

Qureshi underscored the importance of responsible withdrawal and steady progress by the Afghan parties towards a negotiated political settlement.

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Cautioning against the role of “spoilers”, the foreign minister also underlined the importance of commitment and perseverance in the efforts for peace.

After the meeting with Qureshi, the German foreign minister flew to Kabul.

“Any future financial aid for Afghanistan will be conditional on democratic standards being upheld there,” Maas said, as NATO troops are set to launch their withdrawal from the country.

"The Taliban know as well that this country, which has been suffering so much in the wars of the past decades, is massively dependent on international aid financially," Maas said.

"This international aid certainly will not flow if the Taliban were to scrap all the rights and democratic standards that have been established in this country," he added.

Maas was referring to the Taliban's wish to be part of a future government in Kabul. (With additional input from reuters)

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