ISLAMABAD – Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Saturday had a telephone conversation with China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi and shared Pakistan’s profound concern over deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in the occupied Palestinian territories. During the conversation, both the foreign ministers discussed the Palestinian issue, peace process in Afghanistan, and Pakistan-China bilateral relations. Foreign Minister Qureshi said that the humanitarian situation in Palestine was becoming a major threat to peace and security of the Middle East region. He said that the violent attacks perpetrated by Israeli forces against the innocent worshipers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and unarmed civilians and the children in the occupied territories, were against humanitarian norms as well as the international law. He underlined importance of urgent steps by the global community to stop the Israeli attacks. He suggested protection of the civilian population, facilitate engagement of the parties, and ensure just and lasting solution based on relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the two-state vision. The foreign minister also briefed Wang Yi about Prime Minister Imran Khan’s outreach to world leaders in addressing the current serious situation. Qureshi congratulated Chinese leadership and its people for successful landing of Chinese spacecraft at Mars and underlined that it was a historic milestone for China in the technological realm. He underscored that the year 2021 had a special significance as it marked 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries. Over the years, “our bilateral relationship had become an all-weather strategic cooperative partnership,” he added. He underscored that Pakistan and China should continue to deepen their cooperation in fighting COVID-19. He thanked China for the support it had extended to Pakistan in containing the spread of the pandemic, including through provision of vaccines. Qureshi stressed that Pakistan supported an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan. He highlighted Pakistan’s contribution to the Afghan peace process and its support for a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan. Underscoring the importance of a responsible withdrawal, reduction in violence, and earliest possible ceasefire, the foreign minister stressed the need for the Afghan parties to seize the opportunity to work together and secure a negotiated inclusive political solution. He maintained that China-Afghanistan-Pakistan trilateral foreign minister’s dialogue was playing an important role in promoting peace and stability. The two foreign ministers agreed to deepen Pakistan-China strategic cooperation and coordination to deal with the emerging challenges and reaffirmed both countries’ commitment to intensify their collective efforts to promote peace, stability and imperatives of justice. EGYPTIAN MINISTER The minister held a telephonic conversation with Egyptian Foreign Affairs Minister Sameh Hassan Shoukry and discussed the rapidly evolving situation in Palestine. Qureshi expressed deep concern and anguish over desecration of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. He strongly condemned the attacks of the Israeli forces against innocent Palestinians, including children. Foreign Minister Qureshi conveyed his apprehensions about the rapidly deteriorating situation and emphasized the need for regional powers and international community to play their part in de-escalating the tense situation. He appreciated Egypt for playing a positive role and making efforts for peace. He also exchanged views on how OIC could play a constructive role in protecting the Palestinians. Foreign Minister Shoukry appreciated Pakistan for reaching out to brotherly Muslim countries and making an effort for restoring peace in the region. He briefed Foreign Minister Qureshi on latest developments and apprised of Egypt’s efforts in finding a diplomatic solution to the tense situation. The two ministers agreed to accord highest priority to de-escalating the situation and resolved to continue liaising closely on the matter. Foreign Minister Qureshi continues to reach out to his counterparts from key countries on the situation in Palestine. He has already held telephonic conversations with the foreign ministers of Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Afghanistan and China.