Qureshi conveys concerns over Palestine issue to US counterpart

FM Qureshi speaks to US Secretary of State Blinken, underscores importance of US role to help restore peace


Our Correspondent May 16, 2021
Qureshi and Blinken. FILE PHOTO

ISLAMABAD:

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Sunday held telephonic conversation with United States Secretary of State Anthony J Blinken and conveyed the concerns of Pakistani people over the Israeli aggression against unarmed Palestinian civilians and children.

The foreign minister apprised him of Pakistani people’s deep concern and anguish on the worsening humanitarian situation in the Israeli Occupied Palestinian Territories, a statement issued by the foreign ministry said.

FM Qureshi underscored the importance of the US role in ensuring necessary steps to help address the dire situation, restore peace, and facilitate a just solution, the statement added.

Both the dignitaries further discussed bilateral relations and important regional developments.

Read more: UN chief calls on Israel, Palestine to return to negotiations for 2-state solution

Qureshi reaffirmed Pakistan’s desire for a broad-based and comprehensive partnership with the US anchored in close economic cooperation, enhanced regional connectivity and common vision for peaceful South Asia.

He highlighted the importance of Naya Pakistan with its shifting focus on geo-economics and maintained that this vision rested on three central pillars of peace, development partnerships, and connectivity.

The foreign minister reaffirmed Pakistan’s steadfast support for the Afghan peace process while underscoring that achieving peaceful political solution in Afghanistan was the shared responsibility of all Afghan parties as well as the key international and regional stakeholders.

Underscoring the importance of a responsible withdrawal of troops, Qureshi stressed that reduction in violence, permanent ceasefire, and seizing the opportunity to secure an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement was indispensable.

He underlined Pakistan’s immense sacrifices in the fight against terrorism and the progress made in strengthening the anti-terrorist financing and anti-money laundering regimes and reaffirmed the resolve to continue efforts in this regard.

FM Qureshi and secretary Blinken agreed to work together on advancing the two countries’ shared bilateral and regional interests.

Meanwhile, the foreign minister also had telephonic discussions with his Sudanese and Egyptian counterparts on the rapidly evolving situation in Palestine.

Speaking to Sudan’s Foreign Minister Mariam al-Sadiq al-Mahdi, Qureshi discussed the role of OIC in forging a united stance supporting the cause of Palestine and protecting the Palestinians from indiscriminate and excessive use of force against them.

Sharing his apprehensions about the rapidly deteriorating situation, he briefed his Sudanese counterpart on Pakistan's consistent and steadfast support to Palestine.

Qureshi informed her about Pakistan's outreach with regional countries on the escalation of violence and emphasized the need for concerted actions to protect the lives and rights of the Palestinian people.

In talks with Egyptian FM Sameh Hassan Shoukry, he expressed deep concern and anguish over the desecration of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

He strongly condemned the attacks of the Israeli forces against the Palestinians, including children.

Also read: OIC condemns Israel’s ‘barbaric attacks’ against Palestinians

Qureshi stressed the need for regional powers and international community to play their part in de-escalating the tensions.

He appreciated Egypt for playing a positive role and making efforts for peace and discussed how the OIC could play a constructive role in protecting the Palestinians.

FM Shoukry appreciated Pakistan for reaching out to brotherly Muslim countries and making an effort for restoring peace in the region. He briefed Qureshi on the latest developments and apprised him of Egypt's efforts in finding a diplomatic solution to the Palestine issue.

The two foreign ministers agreed to accord highest priority to normalize the situation and resolved to continue liaising closely on the matter.
Qureshi continues to reach out to his counterparts from key countries on the situation in Palestine. He has already held telephonic conversations with the foreign ministers of Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Afghanistan and China.
With input from APP

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