Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi called Acting Foreign Minister for Afghanistan, Hanif Atmar, today. The Foreign Minister congratulated Mr. Hanif Atmar on his recent appointment and expressed hope that during his tenure, there would be enhanced interaction between the Foreign Ministries of the two countries. Prospect of enhancing bilateral relations in all areas were discussed.

The Foreign Minister highlighted that as a neighbor with abiding solidarity, Pakistan values its fraternal relations with Afghanistan. In view of COVID-19, Pakistan has taken a number of steps, at the request of the government of Afghanistan, to assist in movement of Afghan nationals and cargo trucks and containers. The Foreign Minister expressed the hope that Afghanistan would be able to control spread of COVID-19 effectively.

Foreign Minister Qureshi further reiterated the importance of existing bilateral mechanisms. He hoped that the next session of APAPPS would be held soon which would help further strengthen bilateral cooperation in various fields.

The two Foreign Ministers also discussed latest situation in the Afghan Peace Process. Foreign Minister Qureshi reiterated Pakistan’s steadfast support to the Afghan peace and reconciliation process and said that the U.S.-Taliban Peace Agreement provides a historic opportunity for the Afghan leadership to jointly work for the ultimate aim of a peaceful and stable Afghanistan.

The Afghan Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs thanked Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on his message of felicitations. He concurred with the Foreign Minister on utilizing existing mechanisms, including APAPPS, to take forward bilateral relations. He also appreciated steps taken by Pakistan to facilitate return of Afghan nationals and movement of cargo and trucks, in view of COVID-19. The two sides also discussed further steps to deepen the bilateral economic relationship.

Pakistan will continue to support a peaceful, stable, united, democratic and prosperous Afghanistan, at peace with itself and with its neighbours.

Islamabad

20 April 2020

172/2020
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