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China steps in to broker peace in Pak-Afghan conflict

BEIJING: A first of its kind trilateral meeting between the foreign ministers of Pakistan, China and Afghanistan was held here today to discuss in detail a wide-range of regional issues, including development, connectivity, security and counter-terrorism.

The foreign ministers of the three countries agreed at the meeting to strengthen cooperation for indiscriminate action against the menace of terrorism.

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif and Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani led the delegations of their respective countries.

Though the three countries have held several rounds of talks on counter terrorism, this is the first time they have sit together on a ministerial level.

The three had agreed to hold a trilateral dialogue during Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to Islamabad and Kabul in June, this year.

Speaking on the occasion, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi outlined the purpose of the meeting, saying issues pertaining to mutual political trust and reconciliation, development, cooperation and connectivity, and security cooperation and counter-terrorism were the focus of the trilateral talks.

He said the dialogue aimed at promoting bilateral ties between the three countries and reiterated China would continue to maintain friendly ties with both the countries.

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif said peaceful Afghanistan was in the best interest of Pakistan. He reaffirmed that the country would continue its cooperation for restoration of enduring peace in the war-torn country.

He told his Chinese and Afghan counterparts that his country would make every possible effort to make this dialogue process a success.

Asif said Islamabad had given some suggestions to Kabul for improving and enhancing bilateral ties between the two, but the response is awaited.

Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani said terrorism was on the rise in the region and his country had been pursuing a zero-tolerance policy against terrorism.

He also reiterated that there was no difference between good and bad Taliban.

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