FM Qureshi calls for enhancing bilateral ties with Germany

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Thursday held a meeting with his German counterpart Heiko Maas at the foreign office.

The European diplomat arrived on an official visit and discussed issues of mutual interest including the challenges posed by the coronavirus, bilateral relations, situation in the region and the Afghan peace process.

The foreign minister underlined the importance of regular high-level exchanges between Pakistan and Germany and maintaining a steady upward trajectory in the relationship.

Foreign Minister Qureshi stressed the need for enhancing mutual cooperation and collaboration to combat the pandemic in a holistic manner. He thanked the German side for their efforts to ensure earliest possible provision of vaccine through the COVAX initiative.

FM Qureshi apprised his German counterpart about Pakistan’s steadfast support for a peaceful and stable Afghanistan and positive contributions to the Afghan peace process.

He underscored the importance of responsible withdrawal and steady progress by the Afghan parties towards a negotiated political settlement. He said that all efforts must be made for reduction of violence leading to ceasefire.

“Pakistan wants a peaceful and stable Afghanistan,” he reiterated. “Peace in Afghanistan will bolster ties in the region and make construction and development possible,” he added.

The foreign minister emphasised that the Afghan stakeholders must engage constructively to work out an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political solution.

While cautioning against the role of ‘spoilers’, the foreign minister said peace in Afghanistan would yield other significant dividends including enhanced trade and regional connectivity.

On the occasion, the foreign minister also highlighted Pakistan’s shifting focus from geo-politics to geo-economics, within the perspective of economic security paradigm.

The visit comes merely weeks after Foreign Minister Qureshi’s own official visit to Germany from April 11 to April 13. During the visit, the two ministers carried out delegation-level talks.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas last visited Pakistan in March 2019. This year, Pakistan and Germany are celebrating the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations and are planning to undertake a number of activities.

Pakistan and Germany have been collaborating closely on regional matters and at the multilateral forum. Germany is the largest trading partner of Pakistan in the EU and home to more than 100,000 Pakistani citizens.