The international community has displayed a “desire for engagement” with the Taliban, Pakistan’s foreign minister said on Friday.
“There is recognition of a new reality (in Afghanistan). There is awareness that engagement and dialogue are required for a better understanding that will be useful,” Shah Mahmood Qureshi said at a news conference in the capital Islamabad along with visiting Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares.
“There is desire for engagement, not a rush to recognize. People are not in a hurry; they are watching, waiting, looking at the unfolding events in Afghanistan and they have not shut their minds,” he said.
He stressed that “the world must recognize the new reality in Afghanistan and engage with it,” warning that isolation will not be helpful for Afghanistan, the region, or the world.
Qureshi urged the international community to focus on averting a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, while reiterating his appeal for the US to release Afghan assets frozen after the Taliban takeover on Aug. 15.
“Economic collapse in Afghanistan will not suit anyone,” he said.
Albares said Spain and the EU recognize the need to coordinate with Pakistan on the Afghan issue.
“We acknowledge the knowledge and leverage Pakistan has over Afghanistan,” said the top Spanish diplomat, terming Islamabad a “very important partner for the EU.”
“We want to work closely with Pakistan and try to shape the best future for Afghanistan,” he added.
He asserted that Spain will not leave Afghanistan and its people alone in their hour of need, and wants humanitarian assistance to reach the country provided “conditions are met.”
Albares emphasized that freedom of movement for people seeking to leave Afghanistan, particularly those who worked for international agencies, must be ensured./agencies