Germany thanks Pakistan on evacuating staff from Afghanistan

By Staff Reporter
Wednesday – September 1, 2021
ISLAMABAD: While sharing Germany’s viewpoint on the evolving situation in Afghanistan, on Tuesday, German foreign minister (FM) Heiko Maas thanked for Pakistan’s support and facilitation for Germany’s evacuation endeavours from Afghanistan.

According to press releases, German FM called on prime minister (PM) Imran Khan in the federal capital.

Views were exchanged on the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan-Germany bilateral relations.

The PM recalled his conversation with German chancellor Angela Merkel, in which the two leaders had fruitful exchange of views on the Afghanistan situation.

He underscored that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan is vitally important for Pakistan and the region.

PM Khan stressed that at this pivotal moment in Afghanistan’s history, it is important for the international community to remain in support and solidarity with the Afghan people.

He underlined that urgent steps are needed to stabilise the security situation, address humanitarian needs, and ensure economic stability in Afghanistan. These will require sustained engagement with Afghanistan, the PM added.

PM Khan underscored that both Pakistan and Germany should work closely for the promotion of shared interests relating to regional peace and stability.

German FM Maas conveyed cordial greetings of German chancellor Merkel.

He also highlighted the celebration of 70th anniversary of establishment of Pakistan-Germany diplomatic relations during 2021.

The two countries are holding a series of events to celebrate this milestone in a befitting manner.

Separately, FM Shah Mahmood Qureshi met with his German counterpart, in the federal capital, whereat the two sides exchanged views on the latest developments in Afghanistan as well as bilateral relations.

Noting the strong momentum in Pakistan-Germany relations, FM Qureshi shared Pakistan’s perspective on evolving situation in Afghanistan.

He stated that for Pakistan, the immediate neighbour who has suffered for 40 years from conflict and instability next door, a peaceful and stable Afghanistan is of vital importance.

FM Qureshi underlined that safety and security of Afghans and an inclusive political settlement will be important in this regard.

He stressed the need for international community to engage through positive messaging and constructive actions.

The FM stated that immediate steps are needed to address the humanitarian needs and ensure sustained economic stability.

FM Qureshi added that measures must be taken to stabilise the security situation, preserve peace, and preclude any mass exodus.

He added that positive engagement with Afghanistan will help advance these shared objectives.

The FM also apprised the German FM of his recent visit to neighbouring countries of Afghanistan and his interaction with various FMs.

FM Qureshi added that Pakistan has been extending all possible support to foreign governments and international organisations in evacuation of their diplomatic personnel, nationals and others from Afghanistan.

In the context of bilateral relations, the FM expressed satisfaction over growing cooperation in diverse fields.

Stressing the high value Pakistan attaches to its relations with Germany, FM Qureshi underscored the resolve to comprehensively upgrade the overall relationship.

Earlier on Sunday, August 29, German FM prior to his trip to Turkey, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan and Qatar said, “The efforts of the past two weeks to evacuate German nationals, Afghan local staff and further people in need of protection from Afghanistan were — and continue to be — an enormous task in which many partners have been involved.

“On the ground, countless people continue to hold out hope to be able to leave the country, and the situation in Afghanistan is extremely unstable and dangerous.

”The attacks at the airport in Kabul show us how great the danger of a resurgence of international terrorism is.

“A political vacuum has emerged into which Daesh and other terrorists are now seeking to make inroads with terrifying speed.

“Not only Afghans but also the neighbouring countries are facing challenges that they are barely able to deal with alone as a result of these developments.

“I am travelling to the region today to make it clear that Germany’s engagement is not ending with the conclusion of the military evacuation mission.

“We have been able to rely on international cooperation and support in recent weeks.

“Some of the countries that I am travelling to have played a considerable part in ensuring the success of our evacuation mission and in enabling more than 5,000 people to leave Afghanistan on Bundeswehr flights.

“On behalf of the federal government, I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude and to work to ensure that this international cooperation continues also in the critical phase that is beginning now.

“This includes reaching agreement with Afghanistan’s neighbouring countries on how Germans, our local staff and further Afghans in need of protection can get to Germany quickly and safely.

“This includes the question as to how the airport can be swiftly opened up for civilian operations once more, as well as adopting a coordinated international approach to the Taliban.

“Our offer of support to the neighbouring countries to assist them with coping with the humanitarian and economic fallout is also part of this.

“It is in our own interests to ensure that the collapse in Afghanistan does not destabilise the entire region.”