After a two-day stop in Turkey, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi left for New York on Wednesday to bring the international community’s attention towards Israeli atrocities in Palestine.
He is accompanied by the foreign ministers of Turkey, Palestine and Sudan, according to a statement by the Foreign Office.
Qureshi will participate in the emergency session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to be held on May 20 (tomorrow) in which he will represent Pakistan’s stance on the Palestine issue and “raise [his] voice forcefully to call for an end to atrocities being committed against innocent Palestinians”.
Besides this, the foreign minister will also meet UNGA President Volkan Bozkir and other dignitaries. He will also meet media representatives and brief them regarding Pakistan’s stance on local and international matters, the FO said.
Before boarding the flight with his Turkish and Palestinian counterparts, Qureshi tweeted: “Together, we will stand for the people of #Palestine at #UNGA75.”
Earlier in the day, Qureshi held a meeting with Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki in which he “strongly condemned the Israeli forces’ aggression, the attack on Al Aqsa and the forced evictions of Palestinians from their homes”.
He also expressed his grief at the “martyrdom of Palestinians, especially children”.
He assured Al-Maliki that the Pakistani nation was determined to support the Palestinians’ struggle for their right to sovereignty. The foreign minister also briefed Al-Maliki about Pakistan’s diplomatic efforts to bring the international community’s attention to the continued violence of Israeli forces in Palestine and finding a peaceful solution to the Palestine issue.
Qureshi also conveyed to the foreign minister the Pakistani nation’s solidarity with their Palestinian brethren in their hard time.
For his part, Al-Malaki informed Qureshi about the situation in Palestine and efforts being made to bring about a reduction in violence.
He also thanked Pakistan for its “clear, unambiguous and principled stance” on the Palestine issue.
Turkey appreciates Pakistan’s stance
Earlier today, Qureshi met Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan who said Turkey “appreciates Pakistan’s stance and efforts for the rights of oppressed Palestinians”.
The foreign minister, in turn, appreciated Erdogan’s “clear and unambiguous stance” on the issues of Palestine and occupied Kashmir.
He also thanked the Turkish president for the country’s “consistent and forceful support” for Pakistan at all international fora regarding the Kashmir issue.
During the meeting, Qureshi and Erdogan discussed bilateral relations as well as the situation in Palestine, according to the statement.
Qureshi conveyed President Dr Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan’s good wishes to Erdogan, saying that “similarities in the thought and vision” of the Turkish and Pakistani leadership were the reason behind the stability in bilateral relations.
The Turkish president expressed happiness at Qureshi’s visit, the FO statement said, adding that Erdogan reiterated that Turkey would host the 7th meeting of the High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council (HLSCC).
A day earlier, Qureshi met his Turkish counterpart to discuss ways to mobilise the international community to help stop Israeli aggression against the Palestinians.
During the meeting, “it was reaffirmed that the international community had a collective responsibility in ensuring necessary steps to help address the dire situation, restore peace, and facilitate a just solution,” the FO said.
Qureshi apprised the Turkish foreign minister of the sentiment prevailing in Pakistan in support of the Palestinian people including the resolution unanimously adopted by the National Assembly.
While taking stock of the bilateral relations between the two countries, the two sides discussed the ongoing preparations for the 7th session of the HLSCC.
Following the meeting, Qureshi tweeted: “Nothing can shake our resolve as we stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Palestine in their legitimate right to self-determination & establishment of independent state with pre-1967 borders & Al Quds Al Shareef as capital.”