Afghan stability ‘extremely important’, Qureshi tells Russia’s Lavrov



Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi spoke with his counterparts from Russia and Turkey and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) as the ongoing situation in Afghanistan takes the centre stage of the international diplomacy.

In his conversation with Sergei Lavrov, Mevlut Cavusoglu and Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen the foreign minister emphasised that a “peaceful and stable” Afghanistan was “extremely important” not just for Pakistan, but also for the entire region.

Talking to Lavrov, Qureshi, noted that Pakistan and Russia, being a part of the “Troika Plus” — which also includes the US and China — played a pivotal role in Afghan peace efforts. “The path to lasting peace in Afghanistan can be paved through a comprehensive political settlement,” he said.

The minister emphasised that ensuring the security of Afghan citizens and protecting their rights should be the first priority in the current situation. The two foreign ministers also agreed to continue mutual consultations in the light of changing situation in Afghanistan.

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In his talks with Cavusoglu, Qureshi apprised him of Pakistan’s facilitative role in evacuation of personnel of embassies, international organisations, media entities and others. He said that the current situation in Afghanistan required sustained international engagement to ensure stability.

Reiterating Pakistan’s support for a peaceful and stable Afghanistan, Qureshi stressed that an inclusive political solution was the best way forward. Cavusoglu appreciated Pakistan’s role in the current situation and thanked Qureshi for facilitating Turkey’s evacuation efforts.

In a separate phone call, the foreign minister also spoke with OIC Secretary General Al-Othaimeen, according to a statement issued by the Foreign Office. Qureshi underscored the importance of ensuring safety, security and protection of the rights of the Afghan people.

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The foreign minister said that it was also important for the Muslim world to show solidarity with Afghan people in their quest for a “peaceful, united, stable and prosperous” Afghanistan. “The success of negotiations in Kabul would not only benefit Afghanistan but also the region.”

Noting the significance of efforts towards establishing an inclusive government, the foreign minister warned of the spoilers within and outside Afghanistan, who wanted to take advantage of the situation in the country.

The OIC secretary general apprised the foreign minister of an extraordinary OIC executive meeting that has been convened in Jeddah at the level of ambassadors/permanent representatives on Sunday, to discuss the situation in Afghanistan.

(With input from APP)

(This story has been published from The Express Tribune feed, without modifications to the text)