DUSHANBE: Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi met with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on the sidelines of the 9th Ministerial Conference of the Heart of the Asia–Istanbul Process in Tajikistan today.
During the meeting, the two Foreign Ministers discussed myriad dimensions of bilateral relations, including political and diplomatic engagement, economic cooperation, defence ties, and collaboration in education and cultural fields. Views were also exchanged on the regional situation.
Recalling the Turkish Foreign Minister’s visit to Pakistan in January 2021, Foreign Minister Qureshi highlighted excellent bilateral relations between the two countries, based on shared history and commonality of views. He underlined that the High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council (HLSCC) had transformed bilateral ties into a strategic partnership.
Foreign Minister Qureshi reiterated appreciation for Turkey’s principled and steadfast support on the issue of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir, which has been a source of strength for the Kashmiri people.
During the meeting, the two Foreign Ministers evaluated the latest developments in the Afghan peace process. Foreign Minister Qureshi briefed his counterpart on Pakistan’s consistent support for and positive contributions to the Afghan peace process. Underlining that there was no military solution to the Afghan conflict, the Foreign Minister stressed that an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement was the only way forward.
The Foreign Minister added that the progress achieved since the beginning of the U.S.-Taliban Peace Agreement and the commencement of the Intra-Afghan Negotiations in Doha should be preserved and further built upon to lead the process to its logical conclusion. The Foreign Minister also cautioned against the role of “spoilers” both within and outside Afghanistan, who did not wish to see a return to peace and stability in the region.
Expressing concern on the high level of violence, Foreign Minister Qureshi stressed the imperative for the Afghan parties to reduce violence, leading to a ceasefire.
The two Foreign Ministers also exchanged views on the proposed meeting on Afghanistan in Turkey.
Highlighting that Turkey was instrumental in establishing the Heart of Asia–Istanbul Process (HoA–IP), Foreign Minister Qureshi stated that Pakistan valued this process to advance the shared goals of peace, stability and prosperity in Afghanistan and the region.
The two Foreign Ministers agreed to remain in close contact and maintain high-level exchanges between the two countries.