FM Qureshi urges global community to stay engaged with Afghanistan

He was addressing a joint news conference along with his German counterpart Heiko Maas. Source: MOFA

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has urged the world community to stay engaged with Afghanistan for peace and stability there.

Addressing a joint news conference along with his German counterpart Heiko Maas after delegation-level talks, the foreign minister said humanitarian assistance must flow and the economic collapse of Afghanistan must not be allowed.

The foreign minister warned against repeating mistakes of the past saying abandoning Afghanistan is not an option as it will have serious consequences. Qureshi said the world should remain vigilant of spoilers in Afghanistan. He said the international community has to discern between those standing for peace and the spoilers.

Qureshi said Pakistan has been hosting over three million Afghan refugees for decades and have been providing them with education and health care facilities as well as livelihood opportunities. He emphasised the need for creating such an environment in Afghanistan so that the need for another exodus does not arise again.

Commenting on the collapse of Ghani government, Qureshi said they were not speaking the truth on the actual situation in Afghanistan. He said recent statements made by the Taliban are encouraging and positive. He said they will have to act on the pronouncements and respect human rights and international norms.

The German foreign minister in his remarks expressed his gratitude to Pakistan for playing a significant role in the evacuation of foreign nationals including Germans from Kabul.

He said Germany stands ready to support the neighbouring countries of Afghanistan experiencing the impact of Afghan situation. He said his country will not abandon them in facing the challenges. He said they have already provided 100 million euros in humanitarian assistance and 500 million euros have also been pledged for various projects in neighbouring countries of Afghanistan. He said Germany is closely coordinating with Pakistan on Afghan issue as well as bilateral relations.

As regards bilateral relations, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi expressed the desire to further deepen relations with Germany in different fields.

He said both the countries have planned a number of activities to celebrate 70 years of establishment of diplomatic relations this year. He pointed out that Germany has been an important investor in Pakistan and there are opportunities to further enhance trade and promote relations.

He said there are also opportunities for German investors in Special Economic Zones being established under the CPEC. He also expressed satisfaction over the defense cooperation between the two countries.

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