FM Qureshi leaves for home after successful Palestine peace mission

By: News Desk      Published: 04:57 PM, 23 May, 2021
Palestine mission
Senior Pakistani diplomats are coming to see off FM Shah Mehmood Qureshi at New York Airport.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi left New York for home Saturday evening after completing his Palestine peace diplomatic mission that he undertook on the special instructions of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

He was seen off at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport by Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Munir Akram, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States Asad Majeed Khan and senior mission officials.

The Foreign Minister arrived here on Wednesday from Turkey accompanied by his counterparts from Turkey, Palestine and Tunisia to take part in the urgent session of the UN General Assembly on Israeli aggression against Gaza.

The session was convened by chairmen of the OIC and Arab Groups at the United Nations. Later the Non-aligned Movement (NAM) also joined the conveners.

During his brief stay in Turkey, FM Qureshi met with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

He addressed the 193-member Assembly on Thursday in which he strongly condemned Israeli aggression in Gaza, and called for the deployment of international protection force to safeguard the besieged Palestinians.

Also participating in the UN General Assembly session were Foreign Ministers of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Palestine, Turkey, Jordan, Algeria, Tunisia, and the Maldives.

On the sidelines of the Assembly session, FM Qureshi met with the Foreign Ministers of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Maldives.

He also held talks with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, UN Security Council President Ambassador Zhang Jun and General Assembly President Vulcan Bozkir, during which he stressed the need for a just and peaceful solution of the Palestinian and Kashmir issues.

During his stay in New York, the Foreign Minister met with members of the Pakistani community, influential businessmen, youth representatives and briefed them on the government’s priorities.

He also spoke to various local and international media representatives and briefed them on Pakistan’s position on regional and global issues.

FM meets Chairperson of US Congressional Pakistan Caucus

On the sidelines of his UN-related engagements in New York, Qureshi interacted with Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Chairperson of the Congressional Pakistan Caucus.

During the interaction, Qureshi underscored that Pakistan has always valued its partnership with the United States. Since the U.S. Congress is one of the pillars of the American political system, the Foreign Minister appreciated the Congressional Caucus for its role within the US Congress in further improving bilateral relations between Pakistan and the United States.

He also briefed the Caucus Chairperson about government of Pakistan's vision for socio-economic progress and human development in the country as well as Pakistan's efforts for regional peace and prosperity including in facilitating peace in Afghanistan.

He emphasized the significance of further strengthening people-to-people and inter-parliamentary linkages between Pakistan and the United States and urged the Caucus Chairperson and other members to play their due role in this regard.  

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee thanked the Foreign Minister for his briefing and appreciated Pakistan’s efforts towards regional peace and security. She also recognized the role of the Pakistani American community in the US, contributing towards further strengthening bilateral linkages and relations. The Congresswoman looked forward to enhance mutually beneficial engagement between the two countries.

FM speaks with Senator Van Hollen

Qureshi also spoke with Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen.

Qureshi said that Pakistan attached great importance to its longstanding partnership with the United States. Highlighting the government’s emphasis on economic development and connectivity, the Foreign Minister underscored Pakistan’s desire for closer trade and investment ties with the United States.

He briefed Senator Van Hollen on Pakistan’s efforts for facilitating a peaceful political settlement in Afghanistan. He thanked the Senator for introducing the Reconstruction Opportunity Zones (ROZs) legislation and emphasized that the initiative would promote long-term peace and stability in the region.

Senator Van Hollen appreciated Pakistan’s support for the Afghan peace process, and underscored the criticality of enhanced economic engagement between Pakistan and the United States to promote peace and stability in the region.

The Foreign Minister and Senator Van Hollen also discussed the need to further enhance inter-parliamentary linkages as well as bilateral cooperation between Pakistan and the United States on a range of issues, including climate change.