ABU DHABI - Pakistan has commended the role played by the UAE to promote peace and stability in Afghanistan, ahead of the 17th Extraordinary Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which will be held in Islamabad on 19th December.

The UAE has been at the forefront of efforts to advocate and advance core interests of the Muslim world, the Pakistani Foreign Minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, told the Emirates News Agency (WAM) on Friday.

"We commend the role played by the UAE to promote peace and stability in Afghanistan. We look forward to working very closely with the UAE within the OIC and beyond," he said.

"The UAE is a very important and active member that will represent the OIC in the Security Council for the term 2022-23." The session convenes at the request of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which is the OIC Summit Chair. Pakistan had welcomed the call and offered to host the Session.

The Pakistani Foreign Minister said the well-being and prosperity of the people of Afghanistan remains a core priority for the OIC, adding that this conference will provide a platform for a wider engagement.

"In that context, there will also be participation from non-OIC countries, including the P-5, the United Nations and other international and regional organisations," he explained, expressing his confidence that the meeting will yield positive outcome to address the humanitarian challenges in Afghanistan.

He said Afghanistan faces a serious humanitarian crisis that requires collective efforts of the international community for a timely and effective response.

"The Afghan people are in dire need of food, medicines, shelters, etc. We would like to emphasise upon the OIC members and others to come forward and help in easing the suffering of our Afghan brothers and sisters in these challenging times." The Government of Pakistan has announced in November a humanitarian assistance package of around US$30 million for the provision of food items, medicines and shelters.

"We have provided humanitarian assistance of around 1700 megatonne of relief goods so far. We expect the international community, particularly the Muslim world, to realise the urgency of the situation and act accordingly," Qureshi said.

The OIC Extraordinary Session will be "looking for mechanisms that will enable wider access to funds and in-kind support for humanitarian assistance," the Pakistani official continued.

He added that the provision of humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan should not be linked with political conditions, calling upon the OIC members to synergise their efforts to advance progress in all fields including socio-economic development, trade and investment, science and technology, among others, "to realise our full potential." Further strengthening the role and standing of the OIC is also a guiding principle of Pakistan’s upcoming chairmanship of the OIC Conference of Foreign Ministers, which will be held in March 2022 in Islamabad, Qureshi said.


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