Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, while speaking to US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken on Sunday, expressed Pakistani people’s deep concern and anguish on the worsening humanitarian situation in the Israeli occupied Palestinian territories, a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said.
The statement said that he underscored the importance of the US role in ensuring necessary steps to help address the dire situation, restore peace, and facilitate a just solution.
The statement said that both leaders discussed bilateral relations and important regional developments. Qureshi reaffirmed Pakistan’s steadfast support for the Afghan peace process while underscoring that achieving a peaceful political solution in Afghanistan was the shared responsibility of all Afghan parties as well as the key international and regional stakeholders.
Underscoring the importance of responsible withdrawal, the foreign minister stressed that reduction in violence, permanent ceasefire, and seizing this historic opportunity to secure an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement was indispensable.
The foreign minister highlighted Pakistan’s immense sacrifices in the fight against terrorism and the progress made in strengthening the anti-terrorist financing and anti-money laundering regimes. He reaffirmed the resolve to continue efforts in this regard.
FM Qureshi reaffirmed Pakistan’s desire for a broad-based and comprehensive partnership with the United States that was anchored in close economic cooperation, enhanced regional connectivity and a common vision for a peaceful South Asia.
Qureshi highlighted the salience of transformed Pakistan, ‘Naya Pakistan’, with its shifting focus on geo-economics. He underscored that this vision rested on three central pillars of peace, development partnerships, and connectivity.
FM Qureshi and Secretary Blinken agreed to stay in touch and work together on advancing the two countries’ shared bilateral and regional interests.
The development comes as Israeli continued its airstrikes in Gaza on Sunday, killing 33 more including 13 children, Gaza health officials said and Palestinian fighters fired rockets into Israel as hostilities stretched into a seventh day.
The pre-dawn attacks were on houses in the centre of Gaza City, health officials said. A spokesman for the Israeli military said he would look into these reports.
The death toll in Gaza jumped to 181, including 52 children, since the fighting erupted last Monday. In Israel, 10 people including two children have been killed in rocket attacks by Hamas and other groups.
Earlier today, Qureshi held telephonic conversations with his Chinese and Sudanese counterparts over the rapidly evolving situation in Palestine.
Speaking to Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Qureshi shared Pakistan’s concern for the deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories which, he stressed, was becoming a major threat to peace and security of the Middle East.
The minister, making his stance clear on the issue, said that the violent attacks perpetrated by Israeli forces against the innocent worshipers in Al-Aqsa Mosque and unarmed civilians and the children in the occupied territories were against humanitarian norms as well as the international law.
The foreign minister underlined the importance of urgent steps by the international community to stop the Israeli attacks, protect the civilian population, facilitate engagement of the parties and ensure a just and lasting solution based on the relevant UNSC resolutions and the two-state vision.
Qureshi also briefed Wang Yi about PM Imran Khan’s outreach to world leaders in addressing the current serious situation.
On Wednesday, PM Imran and President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to work together especially at the United Nations in jointly mobilising the international community to help stop heinous attacks by Israel on Palestine.
The two leaders exchanged views during a telephone call made by the Turkish president, PMO statement had said.
It said that the two leaders exchanged views on Israel’s heinous attack on Al-Aqsa Mosque and the worshippers inside as well as on Gaza during Ramazan, violating all norms of humanity and international laws.
(This story has been published from The Express Tribune feed, without modifications to the text)