South Asian Affairs

France lauds Pakistan steps for normalcy in region

PARIS: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi held a bilateral meeting with his French counterpart Bernard Kouchner in Quai d’ Orsay, the French Foreign Office.

Foreign Minister Qureshi is in Paris to attend an ‘Informal Ministerial Meeting with Afghanistan and its Neighbours’ which is being held on 14 December 2008. The French Foreign Minister hosted an exclusive dinner in honour of the Foreign Ministers of Pakistan and Afghanistan. As a special gesture, the French Foreign Minister has lodged the Foreign Ministers of Pakistan and Afghanistan at his official residence at Chateau la Celle Saint Cloud.

The French Foreign Minister, Bernard Kouchner expressed his deep appreciation on Foreign Minister Qureshi’s participation in the meeting. He also welcomed series of positive steps taken by the democratic government in Pakistan to restore the climate of trust and confidence between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Foreign Minister Qureshi expressed the hope that the Informal Ministerial Meeting, which was a key initiative bringing all regional countries together, would help in evolving a balanced and comprehensive strategy towards restoring peace and stability in Afghanistan.

The two Foreign Ministers also exchanged views on relations between Pakistan and India in the aftermath of terrorist attacks in Mumbai. Foreign Minister Kouchner appreciated Pakistan’s constructive response and lauded positive steps taken by it. He expressed the hope that the two important South Asian neighbors will continue to promote peace and stability in the region through sustained dialogue.-SANA