Monday Dec 24, 2018
KABUL: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Monday.
A one-on-one meeting took place between FM Qureshi and the Afghan president at the Presidential Palace in Kabul. FM Qureshi was in Kabul on the first leg of his four-nation visit as part of the government’s policy of outreach in the neighbourhood.
After key meetings in Kabul, the foreign minister departed for Tehran where he is scheduled to meet top Iranian leadership. The foreign minister will also visit China and Russia and return to the country on December 26..
Earlier today, the foreign minister held delegation level talks with his counterpart FM Salahuddin Rabbani.
During the talks, also attended by their respective delegations, "issues of mutual interest, progress on Afghan peace and reconciliation process and economic and trade issues between the two countries were discussed."
Both foreign ministers agreed to promote two way political, trade and cultural relations. Rabbani also apprised FM Qureshi of the positive developments in the Afghan peace process.
FM Qureshi underscored the importance to increase contacts for durable peace and stability in the region. "Pakistan has always stood for peace and security in Afghanistan," he said.
Meanwhile, the Afghan foreign minister appreciated Pakistan's efforts for bringing peace in his country.
Speaking to the media before his departure, the foreign minister said Pakistan wants peace and stability in the region. "The aim of my visit is to take the friendly countries into confidence on recent developments in the region," he said.
"We should understand each other's problems and sit together to find a solution to them," FM Qureshi.
The foreign minister further said, "All regional forces would have to take joint responsibility for the sake of lasting peace and development in the region."
A press release issued by the Foreign Office ahead of the foreign minister's departure stated that he will discuss Pakistan’s bilateral relations with senior leadership of the four countries, to strengthen cooperation in various areas. Implementing the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan, Pakistan is eager to strengthen ties with neighbours and regional partners.
The officials will also exchange views on the fast-changing regional and international environment. Recent developments concerning peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan will also be discussed during these meetings.
Pakistan has always maintained that the solution to the conflict in Afghanistan lies in an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process. The International community’s recent consensus to adopt this as the guiding principle to resolve the 40-years old Afghan conflict, vindicates Pakistan’s long held view, the press release said.
The visit is part of promoting various initiatives and ideas for regional cooperation, especially in promoting economic and people-to-people linkages.