Pakistan and Iran emphasised on Tuesday an active response from the world to the situation in Afghanistan, following the exit of foreign troops, and called on the international community to provide financial assistance to the war-torn country to avert any humanitarian crisis there.
At a joint press conference in Tehran, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amirabdollahian, urged the United Nations, the European Union and international aid agencies to pace up their humanitarian assistance for the people of Afghanistan.
The two foreign ministers expressed unanimity of views on extending humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan. Qureshi said that the people of Afghanistan deserved peace as they suffered conflict for four decades.
“We as a neighbour would continue to stand by Afghanistan in difficult times,” he said. Amirabdollahian said accelerating the dispatch of humanitarian aids from other countries into Afghanistan during the winter would lower a peak of refugees flowing into the neighbouring countries.
Qureshi said that his discussions with Iranian foreign minister focused on bilateral relations as well as regional matters. Both sides expressed satisfaction over the recent collaboration in trade and defence, the minister added.
The Iranian foreign minister said Iran would continue its contacts with all parties in Afghanistan, adding that Iran’s security consultations with the Afghan interim government were under way. “We are closely monitoring the developments in Afghanistan,” he said.
[We] believe that formation of an inclusive government with the participation of all the ethnicities in Afghanistan is the most significant political solution before us,” he said. He noted that Iran would use the capacity of all its border crossings with Afghanistan to send humanitarian supplies into the country.
Recalling Pakistan’s initiative to evolve a regional approach to Afghanistan, Qureshi said that his visits to Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Iran led to the first meeting of the neighbouring countries of Afghanistan, held virtually on September 8, 2021.
Good to be in #Iran for second Ministerial meeting of neighbouring countries of Afghanistan. Met FM @Amirabdolahian & discussed urgent need to provide humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan to stabilise eco situation. Bilaterally, we are committed to enhanced ties in all areas. pic.twitter.com/wHAhJHHqw1— Shah Mahmood Qureshi (@SMQureshiPTI) October 26, 2021
Earlier during the talks, Qureshi sharing his perspective on Afghanistan following his visit to Kabul on 21 October. The foreign minister highlighted the urgent need to provide humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan to stabilise the economic situation.
In the bilateral context, the foreign minister reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to enhance bilateral relations in all areas, adding that Pakistan considered Iran a close neighbour and important country. He appreciated Iran’s steadfast support on the Kashmir issue, especially at the highest level.
Dr. Amir Abdullahian expressed hope for the success of joint efforts to help Afghanistan on its path to peace and prosperity. He reiterated Iran’s full commitment to strengthening bilateral relations in all fields.
Talks with Saudi FM
Qureshi also held a meeting with his Saudi counterpart, Prince Faisal bin Farhan al Saud in Riyadh on Tuesday. During the meeting he emphasised the need for effective steps by the international community for durable peace and stability in Afghanistan as well as the region.
Both the ministers discussed regional and international issues as well as matters of mutual interest and agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia at the United Nations and Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
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