-Lays stress on close coordination with Beijing, Moscow during Afghan peace
-Close coordination termed extremely critical to achieve peace and stability
-Meetings take place on the sidelines of the SCO meet in Tajikistan
By Asghar Ali Mubarak
ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Wednesday stressed on close coordination between regional countries as critical in achieving peace and stability in Afghanistan.
He shared this view in separate meetings with his Chinese and Russian counterparts on the sidelines of the SCO Council of Foreign Ministers meeting in Tajikistan. In the meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Qureshi had an in-depth discussion on the overall regional security situation, with particular focus on the evolving situation in Afghanistan, according to the FO.
The foreign minister briefed his Chinese counterpart on Pakistan’s consistent efforts to facilitate the Afghan peace process.
“There was a consensus that in view of the latest situation, close coordinated approach was extremely critical to achieve peace and stability in Afghanistan,” the FO statement said.
The foreign minister felicitated the Chinese foreign minister on the centenary celebrations of the Communist Party of China and reaffirmed Pakistan’s resolve to strengthen cooperation between the two countries.
Qureshi remarked that Pakistan and China “are iron clad brothers”. He expressed his condolences on the tragic incident in which a bus carrying Chinese workers in Pakistan’s Upper Kohistan region plunged into a ravine following a blast which resulted in the loss of precious lives of Chinese workers and Pakistani nationals.
The leaders acknowledged both countries share a common understanding on various regional and international issues and have been supporting each other on issues of core interests. In SCO talks Mr. Qureshi said SCO was a vital platform to forge closer ties with regional partners and to realise the potential of the emerging confluence between the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and Eurasian Economic Union.
The foreign minister said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is the flagship project of BRI, supplements SCO’s vision of regional connectivity and economic integration.
The two foreign ministers agreed to continue close coordination and agreed to meet in the near future.
Earlier in the day, Qureshi and Foreign Minister of Russian Federation Sergei Lavrov discussed Pakistan’s constructive approach towards the Afghan peace process, a statement from the Foreign Office said.
According to the statement, reiterating continued support to the process, the foreign minister emphasised close coordination between the two countries to help achieve a negotiated political settlement in Afghanistan. The two leaders reaffirmed their strong desire to enhance bilateral relations and reviewed the implementation status of the decisions taken during Lavrov’s visit to Pakistan in April 2021.
“It was agreed to work closely to further strengthen bilateral relations in all spheres,” read the FO statement. The two foreign ministers agreed to remain in contact for the mutual benefit of both countries.