Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks at a meeting with Foreign Minister of Pakistan Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Moscow, December 26, 2018
It is a pleasure to welcome you to Moscow. We recently met in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly and discussed the details of our bilateral relations. Today we have agreed to focus on the Afghanistan peace process, which is very relevant. Thank you for your proposal to discuss it.
We have a common interest in creating conditions for the earliest start of a political process that would be orchestrated by the Afghans themselves and take into account the interests of all neighbouring countries.
There is an abundance of various formats, as well as international intermediaries eager to help start this process. Some formats are too narrow and do not represent the entire range of interests of all the countries and Afghan parties that need to be considered at this stage; other formats are overly expanded, which makes it impossible to concentrate on the immediate task of launching the political process.
We try not to impose anything on anyone, but it seems to me that Russia, Pakistan and other participants of the Moscow format have found a very effective framework, which should be also useful for the Afghan parties.
The accession of India and Pakistan to the SCO has given a new breath to the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group. This is a very promising format. We are grateful for this opportunity to work very closely with Pakistan and other countries. We will be very interested to see today what else we can do. It is very important for us to listen to your assessment of the results of the tour to a number of countries where you discussed the Afghan issues and which ends in Moscow.