Kabul – Qureshi is third foreign minister to visit Afghanistan since Taliban came to power
Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi arrived in the Afghan capital on Thursday for talks with his Taliban counterpart, his office said, as activists seek a way out of international isolation.
“The talks between the two sides will cover the whole spectrum of bilateral relations and will focus on ways and means of deepening cooperation in various fields,” Pakistan’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
He will also meet “other Afghan dignitaries” during his one-day visit, the statement said.
Qureshi is also accompanied by the outgoing Pakistani spy chief, who is on his second visit to the Afghan capital since the Taliban came to power.
Pakistan, one of only three countries to recognize the last Taliban regime in the 1990s, is considered to exercise considerable influence over the group.
He has long faced US claims that his intelligence service supported Islamist insurgents in their two-decade battle against NATO forces and the now-overthrown West-backed government.
Qureshi is the third foreign minister after those of Qatar and Uzbekistan to visit since the Taliban took power in mid-August.
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The Russian government on Wednesday hosted a high-level Taliban delegation and officials from 10 countries, including China and Pakistan, to push militants to take action against Daesh fighters, who it said have massed in an Afghanistan still unstable.
In return, the Taliban – who face economic and humanitarian crises within their borders – urged the international community to recognize their interim government.
“The isolation of Afghanistan is not in the interests of either side. And this has been proven in the past, ”Taliban Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Salam Hanafi said at the Moscow conference.
“Therefore, we call on the international community to recognize the current government of Afghanistan.