ISLAMABAD: Special Envoy of the Foreign Minister of Qatar, Dr. Mutlaq bin Majed Al-Qahtani, called on Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Monday and discussed matters of mutual interest with a special focus on ongoing peace talks between Taliban insurgents and the Kabul government in Doha, the Pakistani foreign office said.
Nearly a year after Washington signed a troop-withdrawal deal with the Taliban that called for a reduction in violence by all sides, attacks by the group have escalated, threatening an already fragile peace process.
The administration of US President Joe Biden is reviewing its plans for Afghanistan, including whether to stick to the May 1 deadline in the troop withdrawal agreement former President Trump’s administration signed with the Taliban in February 2020.
“Matters of mutual interest were discussed, with a special focus on the Afghan peace process,” a foreign office statement said about Qureshi’s meeting with Al-Qahtani. “Foreign Minister Qureshi appreciated Qatar’s positive and constructive efforts as the host of the US-Taliban talks that culminated in the peace agreement and the subsequent intra-Afghan negotiations.”
Qureshi highlighted that both Pakistan and Qatar had facilitated the Afghan peace process and reiterated that Pakistan strongly believed in a negotiated settlement as there was no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan.
“Emphasizing that peace and stability in Afghanistan were in Pakistan’s interest, the Foreign Minister underscored the need to remain vigilant of the role of ‘spoilers’ seeking to undermine the peace process,” the foreign office said. “The Foreign Minister hoped that the collective efforts to achieve lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan would bear fruit.”
Qureshi expressed hope over the complete implementation of the US-Taliban peace agreement and reiterated “Pakistan’s support for intra-Afghan negotiations which provide a historic opportunity for establishment of durable peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region.”