Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi met Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels on Tuesday at the NATO headquarters in which he raised alarm over the fast-deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, calling on the world to provide humanitarian and economic assistance to the country. 

Pakistan was desirous of resolving all outstanding issues including the Jammu and Kashmir dispute through dialogue, FM Qureshi said during the meeting. 

The two discussed bilateral cooperation, the emerging situation in Afghanistan as well as other matters of mutual interest including the situation in the region.

Referring to his June 2019 meeting with the NATO secretary-general, Qureshi said that high-level political and military contacts have played important role in the strengthening of bilateral cooperation in matters of mutual interest.

Reiterating Pakistan’s strong commitment to peace and stability in Afghanistan, Qureshi expressed concern over the fast-evolving humanitarian crisis in the neighbouring country.

He said there was a need for the international community to make serious efforts to provide humanitarian and economic assistance to the people of Afghanistan.

He said that the cooperation of the international community with the Taliban was essential to check the possibility of people’s migration from Afghanistan and saving the country from becoming again a safe haven of terrorists and the hub of narcotics.

He said that Pakistan was hosting an extraordinary meeting of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers on December 19 to attract the attention of the international community towards the emerging humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

Stoltenberg appreciated Pakistan’s support for NATO during its two decades’ long presence in Afghanistan.

EUROPEAN UNION: Qureshi and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Vice President Josep Borrel co-chaired the sixth round of Pakistan-EU Strategic Dialogue here on Tuesday.

During the strategic dialogue, multi-dimensional bilateral relations between Pakistan and the European Union were discussed in detail.

Implementation of the project of strategic partnership agreed between Pakistan and the EU was also reviewed during the dialogue.

Besides discussing in detail bilateral trade, investment and other related matters, the two sides also exchanged views about the matters concerning regional peace and stability including the situation in Afghanistan.

Foreign Minister Qureshi said Pakistan desired to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Pakistan-EU friendship jointly in Islamabad.

He said today’s dialogue depicted the commitment to further strengthen and broaden the existing Pakistan-EU Strategic Partnership.

Borrel raised concerns on the death penalty and the misuse of the blasphemy law. He also expressed appreciation for the adoption of the Protection of Journalists and Media Professionals Bill by the Parliament of Pakistan and hoped that the Anti-Torture Bill and other human rights-related legislation that are before the Parliament would be adopted soon.

They also welcomed the continued cooperation with Pakistan on electoral matters. High Representative Borrell informed Foreign Minister Qureshi about the upcoming follow-up visit of the EU Election Observation Mission to Pakistan of 2018.


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