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India Obstacle To Progress of SAARC Countries: FM

New York (September 28, 2018) Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi Thursday attended  South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation’s (SAARC) meeting on the sidelines of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session in New York.

While addressing the forum, the Foreign Minister stressed the need to move forward in a positive direction to achieve something substantial from the platform.

Qureshi also expressed displeasure over India’s non-serious attitude, saying that India’s hostile behaviour is obstructing the progress of the entire region, and is contrary to the very purpose of the association.The FM  added that his Indian counterpart had left during the session with the words of enhancing regional cooperation.

It is pertinent to mention here that Pak-India foreign ministers avoided to shake hands during the session.Nepal’s Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali hosted lunch for the participants of SAARC Council Of Ministers meeting.

Earlier on September 27, Foreign Minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi had stressed for more betterment in bilateral ties with the UK.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi met his Britain Counterpart, Jereme Hunt on the sideline of UNGA Session.

FM Qureshi Meets Saudi Counterpart, EU EnvoyEarlier, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi met with Saudi Minister of Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmad Al-Jubeir and a representative of the European Union (EU) for foreign affairs and security policy on the sidelines of United Nations General Assembly session in New York on Wednesday.

According to the details, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi met with his Saudi counterpart Adel bin Ahmad Al-Jubeir and discussed matters of mutual interest.

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Both reiterated their desire to work closely for enhancing bilateral trade, business and investment relations, said Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal.

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The FO spokesperson said that Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Adel bin Ahmad Al-Jubeir agreed to convene the next round of bilateral political consultations at an early date.

Whereas Shah Mahmood Qureshi also met with the representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Maria Mogherini. Trade, investment, security and other issues were came under discussion in the meeting, said sources.Earlier on September 26, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that Pakistan had not wish for the tensions to exacerbate with India.

While speaking to Indian media in New York, Qureshi commented that Pakistan desired peace and, therefore, wants improvements in the bilateral ties.

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The foreign minister also held an unscheduled meeting with US President Donald Trump, when he was officially welcomed to the UN headquarters in New York, wherein the latter reiterated his intention to “reset” the US-Pakistan relations.

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The two exchanged thoughts on resuming bilateral talks, with Qureshi noting that Trump’s approach seemed to be positive. He also held a discussion with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, although their official meeting is scheduled for October 2.

Separately, he met his counterparts from Turkey, China, Japan, Nepal, Switzerland, and Qatar.

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With the Qatari foreign minister, Qureshi talked about bolstering the two-way relations with Pakistan and, in response, Doha offered to provide 100,000 job opportunities to skilled Pakistani workers.

Qureshi had delegation-level talks with his Chinese counterpart, assuring Wang Xi that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was Islamabad’s first priority.Pakistan would make efforts to take the bilateral strategic partnership to new heights, he told the Chinese foreign minister and informed him of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s proposed visit to China.

To that, Wang Xi said China eagerly awaited Khan.

On Friday, he will speak at the Asia Society where he will interact with American academics, foreign policy experts and students.He is also scheduled to meet with his US counterpart Mike Pompeo on October 2.

The high-level huddle with the US diplomat is one of the top agendas of Qureshi’s week-long visit to the US, which is aimed at following up on the progress made in the former’s visit to Islamabad earlier.

He will apprise the world over the fresh violence by Indian forces in Kashmir, regional and world situation during his address to United Nation General Assembly session on September 29.He will also hold about 40 meetings with other leaders from various countries during his stay.

Qureshi, who is in New York to attend United Nations General Assembly session, said, “Our Policy is Pakistan, Pakistan and Pakistan.”

FM Qureshi will address the General Assembly on 29 September.

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