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June 18, 2019
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Trump-Imran meeting after advancement in Afghan peace talks: Qureshi

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Friday that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s meeting with US President Donald Trump will be possible after advancement in talks with Afghan Taliban taking place in Doha.

In an exclusive interview with Urdu News, a news portal of the Saudi media giant, Saudi Research and Marketing group which also publishes Arab News, Qureshi said that a positive development in talks will pave the way for a meeting of the two leaders.

“Both these leaders are important personalities, and they have deep interests in peace and stability of the region. An advancement is also taking place in this, and talks are continuing in Doha, an advancement has taken place in those (talks), (if) this advancement develops further so (then) there are possibilities of this (meeting), and because of these possibilities there can be a new opening in our bilateral relations,” Mr Qureshi said.                                                                                                         Asked if he means that a meeting between Imran and Trump is conditioned with success in these talks, he replied: “Don’t say it is conditioned, but I understand that if these talks go forward, the environment will become conducive because of this,”.                                                                                                                                                                 Talking about restriction imposed by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), e said there is no justification of keeping Pakistan in the Gray list and world should acknowledge Pakistan’s actions to choke terror financing and money laundering. He hoped that Pakistan will see an exit from the Gray list of FATF in June.

Qureshi said that the issue of deportation of Pakistanis from the US has been streamlined and a visit visa ban on three Pakistani officials will be lifted soon.

Replying a question regarding Iran, the foreign minister said that there are some forces which continue to create misunderstandings between Pakistan and Iran. Without taking any name, he said those forces are which want to see Iran as a threat to this region and want to defeat Iran. Asked if this force is the US, he said he “won’t take any name but this hint is sufficient for the wise”.

Answering a question on deteriorating security situation in Saudi Arabia, Pakistani foreign minister said that Pakistan has stood by the kingdom whenever it faced any danger and it will continue to stand by the Saudis in future too to protect the holy cities.                                                                                                                                                              On Afia Siddiqui, he said that Pakistan was making efforts to bring her back but we will have to respect US laws in this regard. He said Shakeel Afridi will not be swapped with her to secure her release.