Islamabad: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi held talks with Foreign Minister of Italy Luigi Di Maio this week. The talks covered the latest developments in Afghanistan and bilateral relations.
Italy’ Ambassador to Pakistan Andreas Ferrarese was also present. Foreign Minister Qureshi shared Pakistan’s perspective on the evolving situation in Afghanistan. Stressing the importance of a peaceful and stable Afghanistan for Pakistan and the region, the Foreign Minister highlighted Pakistan’s efforts for regional peace, security and stability.
The Foreign Minister underlined that it was vital to support the Afghan people at this critical juncture. He emphasized the importance of stabilizing the security situation in Afghanistan, preserving the peace, and preventing any mass exodus of Afghans as refugees.
Foreign Minister Qureshi underscored the need for the international community to enhance engagement with Afghanistan with positive messaging and through constructive actions. In particular, he emphasized the imperatives of addressing the urgent humanitarian needs and ensuring economic stability of Afghanistan.
The Foreign Minister also apprised the visiting Foreign Minister of his interactions with the leadership of the immediate neighbouring states of Afghanistan and efforts to evolve a coordinated approach.
Noting Pakistan’s facilitation of evacuation operations, the Foreign Minister reiterated support for Italy’s endeavours.
In the bilateral context, Foreign Minister Qureshi underlined the importance Pakistan attached to its relationship with Italy and affirmed the desire to further expand mutual cooperation in all fields. The Foreign Minister also expressed satisfaction at close cooperation between the two countries in the multilateral fora, including the EU and the UN.
The Foreign Minister invited the Italian Foreign Minister to visit Pakistan for the Second Ministerial Review under the Strategic Engagement Plan.
Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio thanked Pakistan for supporting Italy’s evacuation efforts and also noted the important role of Pakistan in support of efforts for regional peace and stability. He also expressed Italy’s resolve to strengthen bilateral cooperation in diverse sectors including trade, investments, energy, higher education and people-to-people exchanges.
Italy is home to one of the largest Pakistani diasporas in Europe. The two countries closely collaborate bilaterally, in the context of EU, and at the United Nations, especially on the issue of UN Security Council reforms.