Aug 24, 2020, 5:49 PM
Journalist ID: 2053
News Code: 83921078
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Pakistan dismisses any external pressure to recognize Zionist regime

Islamabad, Aug 24, IRNA -- Foreign Minister of Pakistan on Monday strongly rejected that there is any external pressure on the country to recognize the illegitimate Zionist state.

Addressing a news conference said Pakistan, Shah Mahmood Qureshi will never be under pressure, our position is clear on Palestine which is in line with the aspirations of the Pakistani people.

To a question on the situation after the normalization of the UAE's relations with the Zionist regime, Qureshi said every independent country is free to decide about its relations, but Pakistan believes that most of the Islamic countries oppose the Zionist regime.

The Pakistani Foreign Minister stated: Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the late founder of Pakistan had made it clear that Israel is a usurper and illegal regime, so we will never give up our moral, political and humanitarian support to the Palestinian people.

**Interaction with Taliban to continue

Answering another question, Shah Mahmood Qureshi said a delegation of Afghan Taliban is in Pakistan for consultations.

He said Pakistan's facilitating role on the Afghan issue led to a peace agreement between the United States and the Afghan Taliban. He said the next logical step is intra-Afghan dialogue, which should be started at the earliest.

To a question about the extension of UN sanctions against militant groups including the Taliban by Pakistan and the current visiting of members of the Taliban headed by Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar to Islamabad, he added: "After the Doha peace agreement, Pakistan is committed to continue its engagement with the group for lasting peace in Afghanistan.

He said a large number of people in Afghanistan desire peace and stability in the country. However, he said, there are some spoilers, who want to disturb peace in Afghanistan.

**Islamabad-Beijing diplomacy on Afghanistan

Pakistani Foreign Minister said that during his recent visit to China, he consulted with the Chinese officials to strengthen joint cooperation in the Afghanistan issue.

"After Taliban delegation's visit, the Special Representative of the Chinese Government for Afghanistan will visit Islamabad in the coming days at the official invitation of Pakistan, with the aim of strengthening Islamabad-Beijing diplomatic efforts on Afghanistan," he added.

Qureshi said China has also been supporting the Afghan peace process.

Sohail Shaheen, a spokesman for the Taliban's office in Qatar, announced on his Twitter account last night that a high-ranking Taliban delegation headed by Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the group's political deputy, had left Doha for Islamabad.

This is the second official visit of Taliban delegation to Pakistan, according to the report. The current visit is being carried out at the invitation of the Pakistani Foreign Ministry, and Taliban members are scheduled to meet with senior officials in the host country.

Consultations on advancing the Afghan peace process, reviewing current developments and the situation of Afghan refugees, trade relations between the two countries and facilitating the movement of people are among the most important items on the agenda of the parties.

The Taliban's first official visit to Pakistan took place on October 11, 2019. During the visit, a 12-member delegation from the Taliban in Islamabad met with the Foreign Minister and the head of Pakistan's top intelligence agency ISI.

272**2050

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