Blinken discusses way forward in Afghanistan with Pak FM Qureshi

Blinken appreciated the work that Pakistan has done to facilitate the departure of American citizens who wish to leave Afghanistan as well as others.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has met with the visiting Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on the sidelines of the 76th UN General Assembly and discussed the way forward in Afghanistan, stressing on the importance of the countries to work together on the issue.

“A lot to focus on, starting with Afghanistan and the importance of our countries working together and going forward on Afghanistan,” Blinken said during his meeting with Qureshi on Thursday in New York.

Blinken appreciated the work that Pakistan has done to facilitate the departure of American citizens who wish to leave Afghanistan as well as others.

According to State Department Spokesperson Ned Price, the two leaders discussed the way forward in Afghanistan.

“Blinken reiterated the importance of coordinating our diplomatic engagement and facilitating the departure of those wishing to leave Afghanistan. The Secretary noted that the United States appreciates Pakistan’s support and assistance with both of these efforts,” Price said.

Qureshi said, “I thought a time would come where we’d be talking beyond Afghanistan, but it seems Afghanistan is there, we can’t wish it away, and we have to find a way of collectively working to achieve our common objective, which is peace and stability.”

The Taliban swept across Afghanistan last month, seizing control of almost all key towns and cities in the backdrop of withdrawal of the US forces that began on May 1. On August 15, the capital city of Kabul fell to the insurgents.

The Taliban claimed victory over opposition forces in the last holdout province of Panjshir on September 6, completing their takeover of Afghanistan three weeks after capturing Kabul

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