Pakistan, Iran urge world to help Afghanistan to avert humanitarian crisis

TEHRAN (PEN) – Pakistan and Iran on Tuesday urged the international community to provide financial assistance to Afghanistan to avert any humanitarian crisis.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his Iranian counterpart Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian in a joint press conference emphasized the need for an active response from the world on the situation in Afghanistan following the exit of foreign troops.

The two foreign ministers expressed unanimity of views on extending humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan.

Foreign Minister Qureshi urged upon the United Nations, the European Union and aid agencies to pace up their humanitarian assistance for the people of Afghanistan.

He said the people of Afghanistan deserved peace as they suffered conflict for four decades. “We as a neighbour would continue to stand by Afghanistan in difficult times,” he said.

On his meeting with the Iranian foreign minister, he said the discussions focused on bilateral relations and regional matters.

He said both sides expressed satisfaction over the recent collaboration in trade and defence.

“Pakistan will keep moving ahead because we understand the importance of our relationship [with Iran],” he said.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said Iran would continue its contacts with all parties in Afghanistan, adding that Iran’s security consultations with the Afghan interim government were underway.

“We are closely monitoring the developments in Afghanistan and believe that formation of an inclusive government with the participation of all the ethnicities in Afghanistan is the most significant political solution before us,” Amirabdollahian said, as quoted by IRNA.

He also noted that Iran would make use of the capacity of all its border crossings with Afghanistan to send and facilitate humanitarian supplies into the country.

Amirabdollahian said accelerating the dispatch of humanitarian aids from other countries into Afghanistan during the cold snap would lower the peak of refugees flowing to neighbouring countries.

Earlier, the two foreign ministers over a working luncheon at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tehran held extensive discussions on matters of mutual interest, the Foreign Office said.

Recalling Pakistan’s initiative to evolve the regional approach to Afghanistan, the FM Qureshi said his visits to Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Iran led to the first meeting of the Neighbouring countries of Afghanistan, which was held virtually on September 8, 2021.

Foreign Minister Qureshi highlighted the importance of close coordination between the two countries, adding that joint efforts would achieve the shared objective of a peaceful and stable Afghanistan.

Sharing his perspective on Afghanistan following his visit to Kabul on 21 October 2021, the Foreign Minister highlighted the urgent need to provide humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan to stabilise the economic situation.

He reaffirmed that Pakistan would continue to extend support to Afghan brethren by facilitating trade and movement across borders.

In the bilateral context, the Foreign Minister reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to enhance bilateral relations in all areas, adding that Pakistan considered Iran a close neighbour and important country.

Foreign Minister Qureshi appreciated Iran’s steadfast support on the Kashmir issue, especially at the highest level.

Dr. Amir Abdullahian expressed hope for the success of joint efforts to help Afghanistan on its path to peace and prosperity. He reiterated Iran’s full commitment to strengthening bilateral relations in all fields.

Special Representative for Afghanistan Ambassador Muhammad Sadiq, Ambassador of Pakistan to Iran, Rahim Hayat Qureshi and other senior officials accompanied the Foreign Minister.