By Our Staff Reporter
Islamabad: A day after Foreign Minister of Germany concluded two days visit to Pakistan, Foreign Minister of The Netherlands, Ms. Sigrid Kaag arrived Pakistan on Wednesday.
A press note issued from Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed the visit and said foreign Ministers of Pakistan and Netherland exchanged views on the evolving situation in Afghanistan. The talks also covered bilateral matters.
” Just concluded productive meeting with Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Foreign Minister of Pakistan. The Netherlands is grateful for Pakistan’s support in the recent evacuation operation from Kabul as well as for its support to urgently secure the safe and free passage of our remaining nationals and Afghan nationals of particular concern to the Netherlands,” Ms Sigrid said.
” We will continue to work with our partners to achieve this. We also discussed the importance of an inclusive political agreement, continued support for the humanitarian needs of the people of Afghanistan, as well as for the refugee hosting countries such as Pakistan,” she added.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi also expressed similar sentiments.
” We also discussed bilateral cooperation within the context of EU. We appreciate the Dutch Govt’s consistent support of our GSP Plus status. Our increase in bilateral trade is imp with The Netherlands being the 2nd largest country for Pakistan’s exports within EU,” Qureshi said.
In the backdrop of recent developments in Afghanistan, Pakistan and The Netherlands have been in close contact. The two Foreign Ministers had telephonic conversation on 21 August 2021. Prime Minister Imran Khan and Prime Minister Mark Rutte also exchanged views on the evolving situation in Afghanistan on 18 August 2021.
Pakistan has extended full facilitation to The Netherlands in its efforts for evacuation of diplomatic and other personnel from Afghanistan.
Pakistan and The Netherlands enjoy close and cordial relations. The Netherlands is one of the largest trading partners of Pakistan in the European Union. A number of Dutch companies have been investing in Pakistan.
The visit of Foreign Minister Kaag will add to the current momentum of high-level exchanges and help further strengthen bilateral cooperation in diverse fields.
It is worth mentioning that Representatives of multinational companies and Foreign Ministers of world’s influential countries keep coming to Pakistan following Taliban’s rise in neighboring Afghanistan.
Foreign Minister of Germany undertook two days long visit to Pakistan last month. He arrived Islamabad on August 30 and held import meetings in Islamabad.
Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi met with Foreign Minister of Germany Heiko Maas on August 31, 2021. The two sides exchanged views on the latest developments in Afghanistan as well as bilateral relations.
Noting the strong momentum in Pakistan-Germany relations, Foreign Minister Qureshi recalled the two visits by the Foreign Ministers in April 2021, their telephonic conversation of 21 August, and other high-level exchanges.
The Foreign Minister shared Pakistan’s perspective on evolving situation in Afghanistan. He stated that for Pakistan, the immediate neighbor who has suffered for 40 years from conflict and instability next door, a peaceful and stable Afghanistan was of vital importance. The Foreign Minister underlined that safety and security of Afghans and an inclusive political settlement would be important in this regard.
Foreign Minister Qureshi stressed the need for international community to engage through positive messaging and constructive actions. The Foreign Minister stated that immediate steps were needed to address the humanitarian needs and ensure sustained economic stability.
The Foreign Minister added that measures must be taken to stabilize the security situation, preserve peace, and preclude any mass exodus. The Foreign Minister added that positive engagement with Afghanistan will help advance these shared objectives.
The Foreign Minister also apprised the German Foreign Minister of his recent visit to neighboring countries of Afghanistan and his interaction with various Foreign Ministers.
The Foreign Minister added that Pakistan has been extending all possible support to foreign governments and International organizations in evacuation of their diplomatic personnel, nationals and others from Afghanistan.
In the context of bilateral relations, the Foreign Minister expressed satisfaction over growing cooperation in diverse fields. Stressing the high value Pakistan attached to its relations with Germany, the Foreign Minister underscored the resolve to comprehensively upgrade the overall relationship.
The year 2021 marks the 70th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and Germany. A range of events are envisaged by the two countries to celebrate this milestone in a befitting manner.