China, Pakistan Afghanistan to develop their trilateral cooperation: Spokesperson

BEIJING, Sept 11 (INP): China, Pakistan and Afghanistan will further develop their trilateral cooperation for promoting peace, development and prosperity in the region.

This was stated here by Chinese Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson Hua Chunying at a regular press conference

Commenting on the third China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Trilateral Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue held in Islamabad, she said, these were highly productive and result-oriented in achieving their common objectives, relating to peace in Afghanistan and their socio-economic development. Many new outcomes were reached during the talks.

The spokesperson said, “The trilateral dialogue was held against a special international and regional backdrop. With surging unilateralism, protectionism and bullying practices in the world, developing countries’ interests are facing threats and challenges. In South Asia, there have been some profound and complex developments, including renewed tension over certain disputes left over from history, affecting peace and stability in the region. It is the shared aspiration of China, Afghanistan and Pakistan to maintain peace and stability in the region.

The three countries would like to advance BRI cooperation, enhance regional connectivity, realize sustainable development and improve people’s lives.
With the aim of maintaining peace and stability and promoting development and prosperity in the region, this dialogue focused on deepening cooperation in economy, trade, culture, connectivity, BRI and counter-terrorism such as ETIM forces.

State Councilor Wang Yi talked about the outcomes of this dialogue at a press conference. We believe five important consensuses were reached.
First, the three sides spoke highly of the outcomes of this dialogue. They believe the China-Afghanistan-Pakistan cooperation, as a new type of sub-region cooperation, goes with people’s earnest aspiration for peace and development. Distinctively equal-footed, open, practical and efficient, it is brimming with vitality.

Second, the three sides hold that the situation in Afghanistan has come to a critical point and call on foreign troops to withdraw in an orderly and responsible manner. China hopes to see reconciliation between the Afghan government and the Taliban reached through peaceful negotiations.
We call on all parties in Afghanistan to start internal negotiations following the principle of “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned” as soon as possible, and to explore a political arrangement acceptable to all so as to realize peace and start reconstruction at an early date.

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi proposed the following three principles on the future political arrangement: it should be of broad representation and inclusiveness; it should be steadfast in counter-terrorism efforts; and it should follow foreign policies featuring peace and friendship. This is a solution to the Afghan issue from a Chinese perspective.

Third, the three sides believe that better Afghanistan-Pakistan relations are significant for peace, stability and development in the two countries and the region. They spoke positively of the two sides’ fruitful efforts towards amelioration since the launch of the trilateral dialogue. China commends the political backbone and courage of the Afghan and Pakistani leadership and will continue its support and assistance for the two countries in holding dialogue, improving relations and strengthening cooperation.

Fourth, the three sides agreed to explore ways to advance trilateral cooperation under the framework of BRI cooperation. They will enhance connectivity, extend the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor to Afghanistan, and work with global partners to construct a motorway connecting Kabul and Peshawar.
They will work together to improve livelihood by implementing previously-agreed projects such as drinking water supply schemes, refrigeration storages, clinic centers and immigration reception centers at crossing points between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

They will also deepen people-to-people exchange with communication and training programs involving diplomats, archaeologists, Red Crescent Societies, media and think-tanks.

Fifth, the three sides will deepen security and counter-terrorism cooperation. They agreed on a list of projects to implement the MoU on Cooperation in Counter-terrorism and agreed to step up cooperation in areas such as counter-terrorism capacity building and counter-narcotics.
They will also enhance intelligence-sharing and law enforcement cooperation and continue the resolute fight against ETIM and other terrorist forces.
A joint statement was issued, giving a full account of the consensuses and deliverables.

China stands ready to stay in close communication with Afghanistan and Pakistan to implement the consensuses reached at this dialogue.”