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German FM Heiko Maas arrives in Islamabad for a brief visit

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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi received Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Thursday during his brief visit to Islamabad.

Recalling his own recent visit to Berlin, Qureshi expressed gratitude for the warm welcome accorded to him and appreciated the fruitful outcome of the visit.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi underlined the importance of regular high-level exchanges between Pakistan and Germany and maintaining a steady upward trajectory in the relationship.

The two foreign ministers reviewed bilateral cooperation and exchanged views on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi underscored the importance of enhancing mutual cooperation, and collaboration to combat the pandemic in a holistic manner. He thanked the German side for its efforts to ensure the earliest possible provision of vaccine through the COVAX initiative.

Foreign Minister Qureshi apprised his German Counterpart Heiko Maas on Pakistan’s steadfast support for a peaceful and stable Afghanistan and positive contributions to the Afghan peace process.

The foreign minister underscored the importance of responsible withdrawal and steady progress by the Afghan parties towards a negotiated political settlement. He added that all efforts must be made for the reduction of violence leading to a ceasefire.

The foreign minister stressed that the Afghan stakeholders must engage constructively to work out an inclusive, broad-based, and comprehensive political solution, through an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led process.

Cautioning against the role of ‘spoilers’, the foreign minister also underlined the importance of commitment and perseverance in the efforts for peace.

The foreign minister underscored that peace in Afghanistan would yield other significant dividends including enhanced trade and regional connectivity.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi also highlighted Pakistan’s shifting focus from geo-politics to geo-economics, within the perspective of the economic security paradigm.

Pakistan and Germany enjoy cordial relations based on shared interests. The two foreign ministers have regularly been interacting bilaterally as well as at the international fora.

The year 2021 marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and Germany. A range of events are envisaged by the two governments to celebrate this milestone in a befitting manner.

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