Int’l cooperation needed for ensuring stability in Afghanistan, says Qureshi alongside German FM

Statesman Report

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi stressed on Tuesday the need for the international community’s cooperation for ensuring stability in Afghanistan, as he addressed a joint press conference with his German counterpart, Heiko Maas, in Islamabad.

Qureshi said he had invited the German foreign minister to Pakistan, where he would be better able to assess the situation.

“It will give you a very good holistic view of what the challenges are, what the concerns are, what the opportunities are and what needs to be done in the days ahead,” he said, adding that the German foreign minister would also realise during his visit the importance of staying engaged in Afghanistan.

“This is a pivotal moment in Afghanistan’s history. The international community must remain engaged. Humanitarian assistance must flow. Do not let the economic collapse in Afghanistan take place,” he said.

The foreign minister expressed the hope that Germany would make the right decisions in this regard.

Qureshi later said in a tweet that Pakistan continued to support a “politically inclusive, sovereign & prosperous Afghanistan, at peace with itself & neighbours”.

He reiterated that it was important for the international community to remain “closely engaged” in Afghanistan for the safety and security of its citizens and the protection of their rights.

Key trade partner

On bilateral relations with Germany, Qureshi said at the press conference that Germany had been an important investor in Pakistan and one of the largest trading partners in the European Union (EU).

Qureshi added that there were possibilities of enhancing trade with Germany further and there were many areas where the two countries could develop economic linkages.

“There are opportunities that Germany must avail in special economic zones.”

The foreign minister said expeditious German visas for Pakistanis would also be of significant help.