Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio has expressed gratitude towards Pakistan for supporting Italy’s evacuation efforts in Afghanistan and noted the role played by the country for peace and stability in the region, the Foreign Office said in a statement.
The Italian foreign minister arrived in Islamabad on a two-day official visit to hold talks with the country's leadership on the Afghanistan situation following the takeover by the Taliban.
In a meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Maio observed Islamabad’s efforts for regional peace and stability.
Qureshi underlined the importance of supporting the Afghan people, stabilising security situation in Afghanistan, preserving peace, and preventing any mass exodus of Afghans as refugees.
He underscored the need for the international community to enhance engagement with Afghanistan with positive messaging and through constructive actions, the FO said.
In particular, FM Qureshi emphasised the imperative of addressing the urgent humanitarian needs and ensuring economic stability of Afghanistan, the FO added.
The foreign minister also apprised the visiting dignitary of his interactions with the leadership of immediate neighbouring states of Afghanistan and efforts to evolve a coordinated approach.
Qureshi underlined the importance Pakistan attached to its relationship with Italy and affirmed the desire to further expand mutual cooperation in all fields.
He invited the Italian foreign minister to visit Pakistan for the Second Ministerial Review under the Strategic Engagement Plan.
Maio thanked Pakistan for supporting Italy’s evacuation efforts in Afghanistan and expressed the resolve to strengthen bilateral cooperation in diverse sectors including trade, investments, energy, higher education and people-to-people exchanges.
Earlier, the Italian foreign minister met Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa and hailed Pakistan's role in the Afghan situation including successful evacuation operations and efforts for regional stability, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement.
During the meeting, according to the ISPR, matters of mutual interest, regional security, the current situation in Afghanistan and collaboration in humanitarian assistance for the war-torn country were discussed.
"Pakistan values its relations with Italy and we earnestly look forward to enhance mutually beneficial multi-domain relations based on common interest," General Bajwa was quoted as saying by the ISPR.
The military's media wing said that the visiting dignitary appreciated Pakistan's role in the Afghan situation including successful evacuation operations, efforts for regional stability and pledged to play their role for further improvement in diplomatic cooperation with Pakistan at all levels.
Since the takeover of Kabul by the Taliban, Pakistan has been asking the global powers to remain engaged with Afghanistan to prevent another humanitarian crisis.
Last week, UK Foreign Minister Dominic Raab also visited Pakistan to discuss the situation in the war-torn country with the Pakistani leadership.
The UK top envoy had announced that the British government would not accept the Taliban government, but it would still fund humanitarian projects in the country through international organisations.
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