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Pakistan, China, Afghanistan reaffirm commitment to further strengthening relations

ISLAMABAD: The third round of Pakistan-China-Afghanistan-Trilateral Foreign Ministers’ dialogue to discuss the Afghan peace process and development cooperation held in Islamabad today (Saturday), ARY News reported.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi chaired the meeting which was attended by Chinese and Afghan counterparts, Wang Yi and Salahuddin Rabbani respectively, along with their respective delegations.

اسلام آباد: پاکستان، چین اور افغانستان کے وزرائے خارجہ کی مشترکہ پریس کانفرنس#ARYNews

Posted by ARY News on Saturday, September 7, 2019

The three foreign ministers also addressed a joint press conference following the dialogue.

The agenda of the meeting focused on political relations, the Afghan peace process, and security cooperation, said a press release.

Issues relating to development cooperation, counter-terrorism, and promotion of mutual contacts were discussed in the meeting.

Joint Statement of the 3rd China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue

The three sides noted with satisfaction the progress made under the trilateral cooperation since the 2nd Dialogue held in Kabul, on 18 December 2018. The three Foreign Ministers reiterated their resolve to further deepen various strands of trilateral cooperation.

They agreed to continue their joint efforts for building political mutual trust and supporting reconciliation, regional peace and stability, development cooperation and connectivity, security cooperation and counter-terrorism as key areas of the trilateral cooperation.

In this regard, the countries took note of the talks between the U.S. and the Taliban. They expressed hope that intra-Afghan negotiations including direct negotiations between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban begin soon and lead to full cessation of violence bringing a lasting peace for the people of Afghanistan.

“The three sides particularly underlined the need for an inclusive, Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process leading to a comprehensive agreement for durable peace and stability in Afghanistan,” said a statement.

Based on respect for the will of the Afghan people, while appreciating the efforts made by the Government of Afghanistan, China and Pakistan expressed their continued support for Afghanistan’s peace and reconciliation process as well as for the efforts towards reconstruction and economic development in the country, the statement added.

he three sides reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthening their relations, exploring new ways of deepening cooperation, including advancing connectivity under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA) and other regional economic initiatives.

“It was agreed to explore ‘China-Afghanistan-Pakistan plus’ cooperation, as well as working towards promoting trade and connectivity projects between Afghanistan and Pakistan, such as Kabul-Peshawar Motorway,” said a press release.

The three sides welcomed the progress made on implementation of projects agreed under the China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Practical Cooperation Dialogue (CAPPCD).

The three countries agreed to continue cooperation in the fields of economic development, capacity building, improving livelihood and people-to-people exchanges.

China expressed its readiness to support construction of refrigeration storages, clinic centers, drinking water supply schemes and immigration reception centers at crossing points between Afghanistan and Pakistan to facilitate the movement of people and trade activities among the two countries.

Read More: FM Qureshi, Afghan counterpart discuss bilateral relations, regional security

China, Afghanistan and Pakistan reiterated their strong resolve to fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and without any distinction. They reaffirmed the commitment of not letting any terrorist organization, element or individual use their soils against any country.

They also decided to work towards effectively implementing the trilateral MoU on Cooperation in Counter-terrorism, signed at the 2nd round of Trilateral Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue held in Kabul, and agreed on a list of initial projects of enhancing counter-terrorism cooperation in this regard. They recognized the need to continue their joint fight against ETIM and its supporters and facilitators.

The three sides committed to promote measures to counter terrorist’s logistical capabilities including terror-financing, recruitment and training.

The Foreign Ministers of China and Afghanistan thanked Pakistan for the successful organization of the 3rd round of China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue and for its warm hospitality. The three countries decided to hold the next round of Trilateral Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue in Beijing in 2020.

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