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Pakistan looks forward to enhancing cooperation in trade with US: Qureshi

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister (FM) Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Saturday  met a bipartisan group of the United States lawmakers led by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference.

Talking to the US delegation, Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that close engagement between Pakistan and the US had historically proved to be a factor for stability in South Asia. He stressed the importance of a broad-based and structured relationship for promoting the two countries’ shared interests.

He noted that Pakistan looked forward to enhancing cooperation with the United States in trade, energy and business sectors.

According to a statement released from the ministry, Qureshi said his government was pursuing an ambitious domestic agenda of reform and people-centric development, which was contingent on peace and stability in Pakistan’s neighborhood.

He recalled that Pakistan had always held that there was no military solution to the Afghan conflict and added that Pakistan had therefore welcomed the United States’ renewed emphasis on achieving a peaceful, political settlement in Afghanistan, and was extending its fullest support to the efforts of U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad to that end.

The foreign minister welcomed recent progress in the Afghan peace process but stressed that a final settlement would remain elusive without the ownership of all Afghan parties as well as the broader region.

While US Senator Lindsey Graham appreciated Pakistan’s support for peace in Afghanistan, noting that the progress made in last month’s Doha talks would not have been possible without Pakistan’s assistance.

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