Shah Mehmood Qureshi
Shah Mehmood Qureshi

PESHAWAR: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Monday said that he has productive meetings with the Afghan leadership and reiterated support for an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process in Afghanistan.

“The peace process is making positive headway,” said Qureshi on twitter after meetings with the Afghan leadership. The foreign Minister said that his next step is Iran as regional connectivity and a collective outlook is essential for progress in the region.

Besides Afghanistan and Iran, Qureshi would discuss Pakistan’s relations with leaders of China and Russia. The foreign minister added that we’re not slowing down as the year ends and will continue efforts for regional peace and progress.

FM Qureshi is also accompanied by Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua on Four nations visit. According to the Pakistan’s Foreign Office statement issued on Monday, Qureshi briefed the Afghan leadership on the recent efforts for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.The statement further said that the FM apprised them on Pakistan’s efforts for establishing synergy among other regional and international stakeholders to facilitate an intra-Afghan dialogue.

On December 15, Qureshi visited Kabul to participate in trilateral meeting among Afghanistan, Pakistan and China. A Memorandum of Understanding was also signed on fighting terrorism.

Qureshi’s recent trip to Afghanistan comes hard on the heels of US-Taliban talks in Abu Dhabi on finding a negotiated end to the 17-year conflict. The parleys in the UAE were sponsored by Pakistan.

President Donald Trump has announced reducing the American troop presence by a half over the next few months after his representative for reconciliation in Afghanistan met Taliban negotiators in the UAE.

“The two countries, with their strategic locations, are like a bridge for surrounding regions,” stated FO statement.” Therefore, deepening bilateral cooperation with Afghanistan is Pakistan’s priority.”

Elaborating further, the statement said that “Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity is the most effective framework that provides practical avenues to address issues of mutual interest”.