Blinken speaks to Pak foreign minister Qureshi; Afghanistan on agenda

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Sep 24, 2021, 10:37 AM(IST)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (R) meets with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi (L) on September 23, 2021, on the sidelines of the 76th UN General Assembly in New York. Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

In addition to Pakistan, the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also spoke with officials of other veto-wielding Security Council members including China and Russia. The US side said after the meetings that world had a consensus on pressing the Taliban regime. Pakistan has been maintaining that the world should engage with the Taliban

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken held talks with Pakistan over Afghanistan on the sidelines of UN General Assembly on Thursday. He said he believed the world was united on pressing the Taliban.

Blinken met his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi. Pakistan is the key ally of Taliban regime. Blinken also held talks with ministers of four other veto-wielding Security Council members including China and Russia.

"I think there is very strong unity of approach and unity of purpose," Blinken told reporters.

Also Read | New Taliban guidelines stir fear about the future of press freedom

US State Department said that Bliken highlighted "the importance of coordinating our diplomatic engagement" in talks with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

Pakistan has been speaking in favour of engagement with Taliban and unfreezing of Afghan assets. However, Qureshi has said that there was no rush to recognise a new Taliban government, a step opposed by Western nations.

Also Read | Taliban leader says executions will return in Afghanistan

Qureshi, opening his meeting with Blinken, said, "We have to find a way of collectively working to achieve our common objective, which is peace and stability."

China and Russia have both moved to engage with the Taliban but have also stopped short of recognition and have longstanding concerns about Islamic extremism.

Also Read | After Taliban sacks V-C, around 70 teaching staff of Kabul University resign

The Taliban swept through Afghanistan last month after President Joe Biden withdrew US troops, saying there was no point in extending America's longest war beyond 20 years.

(With inputs from agencies)

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