ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Ministry on Thursday welcomed recent meetings between representatives of Western countries and Taliban officials, describing it as a positive development.

“In our opinion, the US-Taliban talks are important and should continue. And there have been other engagements as well, with the EU and other countries and we believe these are positive developments, ”FO spokesperson Asim Iftikhar said at the weekly press conference. .

Envoys and representatives of the United States, the European Union and Western countries met a delegation from the Taliban regime headed by its Foreign Minister Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi in Doha.

The Taliban delegation at the meetings discussed the situation in Afghanistan and called for recognition of the new regime and the resumption of development assistance so that employees’ salaries can be paid.

FO says weakening Afghanistan may lead to refugee exodus

They also warned the international community that the weakening of Afghanistan could lead to an exodus of refugees.

Representatives of Western countries, for their part, ensured the provision of humanitarian aid.

Pakistan has been the main supporter of the international community’s engagement with the Taliban regime which took control of Afghanistan after the fall of the Ghani government on August 15.

Islamabad has made many diplomatic efforts to persuade the world not to abandon the Taliban.

“Pakistan has repeatedly suggested that the international community’s continued and constructive engagement with Afghanistan is necessary. We note that this message is responsive, and this is the way to go, ”said Iftikhar.

He stressed the need for “sustained engagement” between the two parties so that the goals of peace and stability in Afghanistan can be achieved.

Pak-US Ties: The spokesperson said Pakistan and the US recognize the importance of broad-based bilateral ties.

“Beyond Afghanistan, our relationship is progressing in a healthy way. We are focused on building an autonomous and comprehensive partnership that exploits the merits and advantages inherent in an expanded relationship between our two countries, which, as you know, has also been mutually beneficial in the past and has helped to make advancing our common interests. “said Mr. Iftikhar.

His comments came in the context of US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman’s visit to Islamabad. In comments to India ahead of her trip to Pakistan, she said Washington no longer saw itself establishing a “large-scale relationship” with Pakistan and was going there with a “specific and narrow focus” of talks on it. Afghanistan.

However, in Islamabad, she reconsidered her remarks in India by recalling the “decades-long relationship with Pakistan around a wide range of issues”. She further said that during her conversations in Islamabad, she also touched on geoeconomics, clean energy, COP 26 and cooperation against Covid-19.

The spokesperson said that there had been wide-ranging discussions that touched various areas of bilateral cooperation. He said State Department readings and the Assistant Secretary’s own tweets about the meetings confirmed the broad nature of these discussions.

“It was agreed to continue close communication and coordination on the situation in Afghanistan, security and the fight against terrorism, trade and investment, climate change, economic cooperation and regional connectivity,” he said. -he adds.

He regretted, however, that some quarters had made “deliberate attempts” to undermine the Pak-US relationship through “false statements and distorting the facts”.

Citing the recent visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Washington, the spokesperson recalled that the Indian Foreign Minister attributed certain remarks to the US Vice President about Pakistan, which were found to be false after verifying with the Americans. .

“We were made to understand that this was not the case,” he said.

Posted in Dawn, le 16 October 2021

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