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Eye on Pakistan

UK Foreign Secretary Raab visits Pakistan, says it’s UK partner on Afghanistan

UK Foreign Minister Dominic Raab. File Photo: FCDO

London/Islamabad, Sep 3 (MNN) UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab visited Pakistan on Friday to discuss how the two countries can work closely together on the situation in Afghanistan.

He held meetings with Prime Minister Imran Khan, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and was scheduled to meet Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa later, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said.

Discussions focused on securing a safe passage for those leaving Afghanistan, combating terrorism, the humanitarian situation and regional stability, among other issues.

The Foreign Secretary visited the Afghanistan-Pakistan border at Torkham, an important crossing point, to see for himself the situation on the ground. He also met members of the team supporting the current crisis response.

Speaking at a joint press briefing with his Pakistan counterpart, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: “The basis for the UK-Pakistan relationship is very strong – and the UK has the desire to take it to the next level. We also have a very clear and shared interest in the future of Afghanistan. We will judge the Taliban by their actions, not their words.”

The UK Foreign Secretary underlined the UK’s commitment to help those fleeing Afghanistan, including by supporting neighbouring countries.

The UK has announced a doubling of aid to Afghanistan to 286 million pounds, and has released the first tranche of 30m pounds of that to support Afghanistan’s regional neighbours, including Pakistan.

Dr Christian Turner CMG, the UK High Commissioner to Pakistan, said: “The Foreign Secretary’s visit to Pakistan today underlines just how vital the UK-Pakistan relationship is. We are committed to working closely together to help the people of Afghanistan and promote stability in the region.”

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