‘Pakistan a reliable partner for Afghan peace’, Islamabad tells Washington

FM Qureshi discusses bilateral and regional issues in call from US secretary of state


Our Correspondent July 09, 2021
Qureshi and Blinken. FILE PHOTO

ISLAMABAD:

Pakistan on Friday assured the US that it would remain a reliable partner for peace in Afghanistan, as there was a fundamental convergence between the two countries on the need for a peaceful settlement in the war-torn country.

According to the Foreign Office, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi spoke with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken by telephone and discussed bilateral relations and important developments in the region, including the situation in Afghanistan and efforts for a political settlement there.

“The foreign minister and the Secretary of State stressed the need for the two sides to continue close coordination and cooperation to ensure meaningful progress in the peace process,” the statement said. “The two sides also exchanged views on regional connectivity and other key issues,” it added.

During the telephone call, initiated by Blinken, Qureshi highlighted the steps Pakistan had taken in support of the Afghan peace process, stressing that there was a fundamental convergence between Pakistan and the United States on the need for a peaceful settlement in Afghanistan.

“For its part, Pakistan will remain a reliable partner for peace in Afghanistan,” the Foreign Office quoted Qureshi as telling Blinken. He underscored that securing peace in Afghanistan was a shared responsibility of all stakeholders inside Afghanistan as well as key regional and international players.

The foreign minister emphasised that it was imperative for all the relevant stakeholders to press all Afghan parties to engage constructively towards achieving an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement.

On the bilateral relations, Qureshi reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to forging a “broad-based, long-term and sustainable relationship with the United States that was anchored in deep economic cooperation, regional connectivity and peace in the region”.

The foreign minister highlighted Pakistan’s focus on geo-economics as per the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan and reiterated the importance of enhancing economic, trade and investment ties with the US.

Qureshi thanked Blinken for the Covid-related support extended to Pakistan by the United States.

Meanwhile, Blinken also confirmed the development in a tweet saying he spoke over phone with FM Qureshi “to underscore our desire for a stable and sustainable bilateral relationship”.

“Pakistani Foreign Minister @SMQureshiPTI and I had a call to underscore our desire for a stable and sustainable bilateral relationship. I look forward to continuing cooperation on the Afghan peace process, tackling COVID-19, supporting regional stability, and other key issues,” he added.

 

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