Foreign Minister Qureshi visits Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Iran to discuss the evolving situation in Afghanistan

According to Foreign Office (FO), FM Qureshi had high-level interactions to exchange views on the evolving situation in Afghanistan and on enhancing bilateral relations. The foreign minister also shared Pakistan’s perspective on the latest developments in Afghanistan. The FO Spokesperson Asim Iftikhar Ahmad said Pakistan believed the neighboring countries had a vital stake in the peace, security and stability of Afghanistan and the region.

FM Qureshi’s visit to Tajikistan:

Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi met Foreign Minister of Tajikistan Sirojiddin Muhriddin at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan on Wednesday August 25. During the meeting, the two Foreign Ministers welcomed the frequent high level interaction which had led to further strengthening of bilateral relations and commonality of views on matters of mutual interests.

Foreign Minister Qureshi appreciated Tajikistan’s leading role during its Presidency of SCO and remarked that Prime Minister was keen to visit Tajikistan for the upcoming Summit in September 2021.

The two Foreign Ministers also reviewed the latest developments in Afghanistan. Foreign Minister Qureshi apprised his Tajik counterpart of Pakistan’s policy to support an inclusive political solution in Afghanistan and expressed hope that Afghan leaders would achieve a workable solution. He also underscored the importance of continued international engagement as shared responsibility.

The Tajik Foreign Minister appreciated Pakistan’s initiative to reach out to neighbours of Afghanistan for a coordinated approach. The two Foreign Ministers agreed to remain in close contact.

FM Qureshi’s visit to Uzbekistan:

Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi met with Foreign Minister of Uzbekistan Abdulaziz Kamilov, on August 25 in Tashkent.

Foreign Minister Qureshi exchanged views on ways and means with his Uzbek counterpart to intensify bilateral relations in all areas. The two Foreign Ministers agreed that in view of recent frequent high level exchanges, bilateral relations have transformed into a strategic partnership. It was decided to follow up closely the implementation of decisions, taken during the recent visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to Uzbekistan.

During the meeting, regional security situation, particularly the evolving situation in Afghanistan came under discussion. Emphasising Pakistan’s support for an inclusive political setup, the Foreign Minister remarked that peace in Afghanistan would bring stability in the region, promote trade and facilitate people to people linkages. It was therefore important that neighbours of Afghanistan coordinate closely on the situation in Afghanistan.

Welcoming the Foreign Minister, the Uzbek Foreign Minister highlighted upward trajectory in the bilateral relations. Foreign Minister Kamilov termed Foreign Minister Qureshi’s visit important and timely in terms of close coordinated approach on Afghanistan. The two Foreign Ministers agreed to continue consultations to advance shared objectives of a peaceful, prosperous and connected region.

FM Qureshi’s visit to Turkmenistan:

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, in the third phase of four-country visit, arrived Turkmenistan on Thursday August 26.

At Ashgabat Airport, he was received and welcomed by Pakistan’s Ambassador to Turkmenistan Irfan Ahmed and senior Turkmen Foreign Ministry officials.

During his stay in Turkmenistan, the Foreign Minister met with Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow and Vice President Rashid Meredov.

The meetings focused on bilateral relations, promotion of bilateral cooperation in various fields and the regional situation, including Afghanistan.

FM Qureshi’s visit to Iran:

Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi met with Dr. Amir Abdullahian on August 27 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tehran. Special Representative for Afghanistan Ambassador Muhammad Sadiq, Ambassador of Pakistan to Iran, Rahim Hayat Qureshi and other senior officials accompanied the Foreign Minister.

The Foreign Minister congratulated his Iranian counterpart on getting endorsement from the Parliament on his appointment. Reaffirming desire to enhance bilateral relations in all areas, the Foreign Minister remarked that Pakistan considered Iran a close neighbour and important country.

In the bilateral context, the Foreign Minister recalled his previous visit to Tehran in April 2021, during which the two countries signed MoU on establishment of Border Sustenance Markets. Coupled with opening of new border crossing point, Foreign Minister Qureshi underlined that both the initiatives would improve livelihood of the people in the border region and facilitate movement.

The two Foreign Ministers had extensive discussion on regional security situation. Foreign Minister Qureshi appreciated Iran’s steadfast support on Kashmir issue, specially at the highest level.

On the developing situation in Afghanistan, the Foreign Minister remarked that a coordinated approach was important for security, stability and inclusive political settlement in Afghanistan. Return of peace in Afghanistan would provide impetus to greater economic integration, regional connectivity and facilitate people-to-people linkages.

Foreign Minister Qureshi reiterated invitation to Dr. Abdullahian to visit Pakistan. Dr. Amir Abdullahian warmly welcomed Foreign Minister Qureshi and reaffirmed Iran’s policy to continue strong bilateral relations. He welcomed Foreign Minister’s initiative to advance regional approach on Afghanistan for the mutual benefit of the region. Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi is the first Foreign Minister to meet Dr. Abdullahian, after his appointment as the Foreign Minister of Iran.

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