ISLAMABAD: At the invitation of Pakistan, a meeting of the foreign ministers of the neighbouring countries of Afghanistan will be held in a virtual format today. The meeting will discuss the current state of affairs in Afghanistan. According to a statement issued by the Foreign Office, FM Shah Mahmood Qureshi will chair the meeting. The meeting will also be attended by China, Iran, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The huddle holds importance after the announcement of an interim government by the Taliban. The United States said it was concerned by the track records of some of the Cabinet members and noted that no women had been included. A US State Department spokesperson said that “the world is watching closely.” The foreign ministers’ meeting will review the evolving situation in Afghanistan to address common challenges. It will also realise emerging opportunities to ensure regional stability and prosperity. The meeting will also provide an opportunity to neighbours of Afghanistan to work together for the shared objective of a peaceful and stable Afghanistan, which is essential to forge strong economic linkages and realize connectivity agenda, read the statement. The statement further said that the meeting will build upon the discussions, held at the special representatives/envoys level, on 5 September 2021. The Foreign Office said that a peaceful, stable, united, sovereign and prosperous Afghanistan will contribute towards transit trade, people-to-people exchanges and security in the region. Qureshi and Abdollahian discuss Afghanistan’s situation Earlier on September 5, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had spoken to his Iranian counterpart to discuss Afghanistan, as the Taliban geared up to announce a new government in the war-ravaged country. The foreign minister had spoken to Iran’s Hossein Amir Abdollahian over the phone. Both representatives agreed to continue consulting each other over the evolving situation in Afghanistan. The two sides had exchanged views in detail about latest developments in Afghanistan. And also agreed on holding a virtual conference of Afghanistan’s neighbours at the level of representatives in the upcoming days. FM Qureshi had said Pakistan attached significant importance to its relations with Iran. While his Iranian counterpart lauded Qureshi’s concerted efforts to evolve a coordinated strategy in the backdrop of the situation in Afghanistan.