Aussie FM Payne thanks Pakistan on evacuating int’l staff

By Staff Reporter
Wednesday – August 25, 2021
ISLAMABAD: The foreign minister (FM) Shah Mahmood Qureshi in a telephone conversation with Australian FM Marise Payne, on Tuesday, discussed the current situation in Afghanistan wherein FM Qureshi underscored the importance of security, stability, and inclusive political settlement in Afghanistan.

According to a press release, he added that it is essential for the world community to support the people of Afghanistan to address the humanitarian situation and also provide economic assistance.

The FM highlighted Pakistan’s efforts to facilitate evacuation of diplomatic personnel, staff of international organisations and others from Afghanistan.

The Australian FM Payne thanked Pakistan for its assistance in this regard.

In the bilateral context, FM Qureshi said that Pakistan highly values its relationship with Australia, having several strands of collaboration including political, economic and cultural.

While expressing satisfaction on the current level of engagement, the two leaders agreed on further enhancing high-level interactions.

Earlier on Monday, August 16, 2021, the Australian FM Payne, in a press release, noted that the situation on the ground in Kabul, as in the rest of Afghanistan, is evolving rapidly.

She continued: as in any crisis situation, the Australian government’s priority is to ensure the safety of its citizens.

We have over 130 Australians in Afghanistan, working in the United Nations (UN), non government organisations (NGOs), and elsewhere, and we are working to bring them and their families home.

We are also assisting those who have been granted humanitarian visas, and others who are in the process of applying for protection.

We are closely connected to the United States (US), United Kingdom (UK), Canada, and other allies and partners.

As a partner committed for many years to helping Afghanistan build its future, we are deeply concerned at the potential for further loss of life and suffering.

The Taliban must cease all violence against civilians, and adhere to international humanitarian law and the human rights all Afghans are entitled to expect, in particular women and girls.

The Taliban will be held fully accountable for any killing or other mistreatment of Afghan military and other security forces who have surrendered or been captured.

Afghan government officials and elected political leaders are fully entitled to be treated with safety, respect and dignity.

The Taliban’s leadership is responsible and accountable for the conduct of its forces.

Those preparing to leave the country must be able to do so without threat or hinderance.

We will continue to work with key partners in the days ahead to enable this safe passage, Australian FM Payne concluded.