FM Qureshi reaches Kabul for key talks with Afghan leadership

  • Pakistan will also take up the matter of the closure of its consulate in Jalalabad

ISLAMABAD – Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Saturday arrived in Afghanistan on a one-day tour today at the invitation of his Afghan counterpart Salahuddin Rabbani.

During his first foreign tour by the foreign minister after assuming the office, Qureshi is expected to meet Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah.

Headed by the foreign minister, the Pakistani delegation, comprising Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua, the director-general for Afghan relations and other officials, will also hold meeting with Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani and his team.

Earlier, the foreign office spokesperson said, the visit of Qureshi to Kabul underlined the importance government attaches to work closely with Afghanistan for regional peace and stability, the foreign office said.

Faisal added, “Successful outcome of the visit will lead future efforts to enhance bilateral cooperation under bilateral frameworks of cooperation including APAPPS, APTTCA, JEC etc”.

During the meetings, matters of mutual interest, including trade, security, and Pak-Afghan Action Plan for Peace and Stability will be discussed.

Talks on permanent solution of Afghan conflict and eliminating terrorism are also part of the agenda, while Pakistan will also take up the matter of the closure of its consulate in Jalalabad.

The invitation was extended to Qureshi on September 3 when Afghan counterpart called him to congratulate him on assuming the office.

Both ministers had also agreed to continue to joint working for achieving lasting regional peace.

Expressing the greetings and best wishes of the government and people of Afghanistan for Pakistan, Rabbani said that he looked forward to strengthen Pak-Afghan bilateral relations, said a statement issued by the foreign office.

While thanking his Afghan counterpart, Qureshi reiterated that as close neighbours, peace and prosperity of the two countries are interlinked while highlighting the need to work together for achieving lasting regional peace, it added.

“Both sides appreciated the recent improvement in relations since the launch of APAPPS process in May 2018. It was noted that the framework provided the most comprehensive institutional mechanism to discuss all mutual issues,” read the statement.

The two leaders agreed that the next round of Afghanistan Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS) would be soon held in Islamabad.

“They also welcomed the holding of joint Pak-Afghan Ulema Conference in Islamabad, the dates for which are being finalised,” it added.