Thursday October 21, 2021

First face-to-face meeting: Qureshi updates Blinken about Indian atrocities

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday and discussed bilateral relations and the situation in Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover of the war-torn country.

APP
September 24, 2021

NEW YORK: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday and discussed bilateral relations and the situation in Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover of the war-torn country.

Although the two top diplomats have been in touch since January this year, this was their first face-to-face meeting in New York which took place on the margins of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

They last spoke to each other by phone on August 16. The minister, according to a press release issued by the Pakistani embassy, said at the meeting that close engagement between Pakistan and the United States had always been mutually beneficial and a factor for stability in South Asia. He reiterated Pakistan’s desire for a balanced relationship with the United States that was anchored in trade, investment, energy and regional connectivity.

Qureshi also reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to facilitating efforts for an inclusive political settlement in Afghanistan. He stressed that only a stable and broad-based government in Afghanistan, which reflects its diversity and preserves the gains made by the country since 2001, would be able to ensure that Afghan territory is never exploited by transnational terrorist groups ever again.

Noting that a new political reality had emerged in Afghanistan, the minister said while the Taliban should be held to their commitments, the international community has a moral obligation to help the Afghan people deal with the growing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. He hoped that the world would not repeat the mistake of disengaging with Afghanistan.

The minister highlighted the grave human rights situation in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJ&K), and underscored the importance of resolving the Kashmir dispute for lasting peace and stability in South Asia.

Secretary Blinken appreciated Pakistan’s support for the evacuation of US citizens and other nationals from Afghanistan, and its continued efforts for peace in the region. Meanwhile, Shah Mahmood Qureshi held a meeting with the Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud on the sidelines of the UNGA session and exchanged views on matters of bilateral and regional interest.

The two foreign ministers expressed satisfaction at the close cooperation between the two fraternal countries in all spheres including at the United Nations. They discussed a number of issues of bilateral importance and also exchanged views on the latest situation in Afghanistan

Qureshi also apprised his counterpart on the ongoing human rights violations and illegal demographic changes in IIOJ&K. He stressed that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan was of crucial importance for Pakistan and the region.

Qureshi also met Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu of Turkey and discussed steps to further enhance cooperation between Pakistan and Turkey in all areas. They also exchanged views on the situation in Afghanistan as well as other regional and global issues.