Monday Oct 25, 2021
RIYADH: Prime Minister Imran Khan stressed that the international community needs to work pragmatically to preserve peace and security, prevent an economic collapse and avert a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan in a meeting on Monday with American politician and diplomat John Kerry.
The Taliban-run government in Afghanistan faces isolation as countries have yet to recognise their regime since they took over after ousting Ashraf Ghani in mid-August.
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.
During their meeting, the prime minister underscored the need for positive engagement and the release of seized economic resources and financial assets for the welfare of the Afghan people.
The premier underscored the importance of a peaceful and stable Afghanistan for Pakistan and the region.
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.
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.
The prime minister stressed on improving ties with New Delhi, but noted that after Pakistan's historic win against India, it was "not a good time" to do so.
PM meets Bahrain's crown prince and prime minister
Moreover, PM Imran Khan had a meeting with the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain, Prince Salman Bin Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa today in Riyadh.
The two prime ministers expressed satisfaction at the close cooperation between the two fraternal countries in diverse fields.
They discussed a range of issues of bilateral importance and also exchanged views on the latest developments in Afghanistan.
PM Imran Khan underlined that Pakistan and Bahrain have historic and deep-rooted fraternal ties.
Recalling his visit to Bahrain in December 2019, the premier stressed the importance of regular high-level exchanges to further reinforce the growing momentum in bilateral relations.
The crown prince underlined that Bahrain deeply valued its relationship with Pakistan and was committed to upgrading it in all dimensions.
Moving forward, PM Imran Khan stressed that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan was of crucial importance for Pakistan and the region.
He added that sustained and positive engagement of the international community was critical for preventing a humanitarian crisis, averting an economic collapse, and supporting long-term development and stability in Afghanistan.
The prime minister also underscored the importance of the release of Afghanistan’s frozen assets to help the Afghan people.
The two Prime Ministers agreed to strengthen cooperation in myriad fields and maintain close consultation on all issues of mutual interest.