In meeting with John Kerry, PM Imran Khan stresses release of Afghan economic resources

October 25, 2021

US diplomat John Kerry calls in PM Imran Khan in Riyadh where the premier stresses need for engagement with Afghanistan

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Prime Minister Imran Khan (centre) meets United States’ Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry in Riyadh on October 25, 2021 on the sidelines of the “Middle East Green Initiative (MGI)” Summit. — Twitter/PakPMO

Prime Minister Imran Khan stressed the need for positive engagement with Afghanistan and the release of seized economic resources and financial assets for the welfare of Afghan people in a meeting with American diplomat John Kerry.

Countries are yet to recognise the Taliban-led regime, which has been isolated by the international community since they took over after ousting Ashraf Ghani in mid-August.

During the meeting, the premier urged the international community to work pragmatically to preserve peace and security, prevent an economic collapse and avert a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

PM Imran Khan also underscored the importance of a peaceful and stable Afghanistan for Pakistan and the region.

Kerry, the United States’ Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, and the prime minister spoke on the sidelines of the “Middle East Green Initiative (MGI)” Summit in Riyadh.

The premier is in Saudi for a three day visit — from October 23-25.

Speaking about climate change, the prime minister stressed the need to reinforce national as well as global emphasis against what he described as an existential threat.

The prime minister shared his perspective with the special envoy on challenges faced by Pakistan and other developing countries due to climate change, while highlighting Islamabad's experience of launching nature-based solutions to address environmental challenges, including the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami project.

Reviewing the ongoing collaboration between Pakistan and the US on climate change and environment, PM Imran Khan expressed satisfaction on the recently held inaugural meeting of the “US-Pakistan Climate and Environment Working Group” which explored potential areas of bilateral Pak-US cooperation on climate action.

Kerry said the Pakistan-US relationship should be further reinforced in areas of mutual convergence, including climate and environment.

He acknowledged various initiatives undertaken by Pakistan to fight climate change.

'Pakistan committed to ensuring Saudi Arabia's security'

Separately, while addressing the Pakistan-Saudi Arabia Investment Forum, PM Imran Khan said Pakistan was committed to ensuring Saudi Arabia's security, as he expressed his desire to further strengthen ties between the two states.

"The stable relationship between the two states is due to the relation of the people with each other," the prime minister said.

The prime minister said Saudi Arabia has always supported Pakistan during the country's hard times and that Islamabad "always remembers its loyal friends".

The prime minister stressed the importance of engaging the private sector to fortify the economic relationship between the two states.

He hoped that the private sectors of the two countries would take full advantage of close and cordial bilateral relations to realise the untapped potential in the fields of trade, business, and investment.

Highlighting the significance of Pakistan as a gateway to the Asian markets and beyond, the Prime Minister underlined that the geo-strategic position offered Pakistan distinctive opportunities to stimulate intra-region trade by building regional connectivity on modern lines.

He stressed Pakistan’s proximity to the two biggest markets, noting that Pakistan had excellent relations with China and that there could be further economic dividends if the unresolved dispute of Jammu and Kashmir was peacefully resolved with India.

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