Pakistan, Russia agree to continue Afghan peace efforts through Troika Plus

MOSCOW: September 10 - Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov greeting Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi before the bilateral meeting on the sidelines of Shanghai Cooperation Organization Council of Foreign Ministers at Ministry of Foreign Affairs. APP
APP81-10 MOSCOW: September 10 - Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov greeting Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi before the bilateral meeting on the sidelines of Shanghai Cooperation Organization Council of Foreign Ministers at Ministry of Foreign Affairs. APP File Photo

ISLAMABAD, Aug 21 (APP): Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov Saturday, in a telephonic conversation, agreed to continue working closely for Afghan peace through the Troika Plus format.

During the conversation, the foreign minister said Pakistan and Russia, as part of Troika Plus, had made valuable contributions to the Afghan peace efforts.

He emphasized that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan was of critical importance for Pakistan and the region. Pakistan had consistently supported the Afghan peace process, he added.

Foreign Minister Qureshi stressed the importance of ensuring safety and security as well as protection of rights of all Afghans.

He further highlighted that an inclusive political settlement was the best way forward for peace and stability in Afghanistan. Pakistan was fully supporting efforts in that direction.

The foreign minister also apprised his Russian counterpart of Pakistan’s outreach to regional countries for consultations on dealing with the challenges arising out of developments in Afghanistan.

Qureshi also informed Foreign Minister Lavrov that upon request of several governments, Pakistan was facilitating evacuation of their diplomatic personnel, staff of international organizations, media and others from Afghanistan.

On the bilateral plane, Foreign Minister Qureshi expressed satisfaction at the upward trajectory of Pakistan-Russia relations. He reiterated the government’s resolve for early implementation of the agreement on Pakistan Stream Gas Pipeline Project.

The two foreign ministers agreed to boost bilateral cooperation in different areas, enhance high level exchanges and remain in close contact on matters relating to Afghanistan.