Qureshi, Hague discuss Afghanistan situation

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his new British counterpart William Hague on Wednesday discussed the situation in Afghanistan, which is one of top foreign policy priorities of the new British government.

Last Updated: May 19, 2010, 20:23 PM IST

Islamabad: Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah
Mahmood Qureshi and his new British counterpart William Hague
on Wednesday discussed the situation in Afghanistan, which is one of
top foreign policy priorities of the new British government.

Hague called Qureshi and the two leaders spoke for
over 20 minutes.
Hague said wanted to establish an early contact with
Qureshi to carry forward Pakistan-Britain relations and
exchange views on issues of mutual interest and concern.

Afghanistan is one of the top foreign policy
priorities for the new British government and Hague said he
would visit the country soon to interact with British troops
there.

Qureshi reiterated that Pakistan is committed to
support an Afghanistan-led reconciliation and reintegration
process.

A peaceful and stable Afghanistan is in Pakistan`s
strategic interest, he said.

Recalling his meetings with Qureshi in Islamabad,
London and Manama as shadow Foreign Secretary, Hague said
these contacts had helped them develop a "good personal
rapport" and this should contribute to further strengthening
bilateral ties.

According to a statement issued by Pakistan`s
Foreign Office, Hague said Britain attached "immense
importance" to its relations with Pakistan.
He congratulated Qureshi and the Pakistan government
on the passage of the landmark 18th constitutional amendment,
describing it as a very important development for long-term
political stability in the country.

Qureshi said Pakistan-Britain relations were on the
right track and bilateral ties should get a boost in all areas
of life with the establishment of the Pakistan-UK Foundation.

Hague welcomed the initiative and assured Qureshi of
his full support for the Foundation in fulfilling its mandate.

Qureshi invited Hague to visit Pakistan and the
latter said he was looking forward to visiting the country in
the second half of June.

PTI