China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Ties: Foreign ministers convene 1st trilateral dialogue in Beijing
The first round of the China-Afghanistan-Pakistan trilateral Foreign Ministers' dialogue was held in Beijing this morning. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Afghanistan's Salahuddin Rabbani and Pakistan's Khawaja Asif. At a press conference following the talks, the three sides said they had agreed to take the dialogue as an opportunity to increase mutual trust and deepen cooperation. Meng Qingsheng reports.
China is seeking to bring two neighbors closer. Afghan and Pakistani foreign ministers met in Beijing to overcome frictions, and secure closer security cooperation. Their Chinese counterpart Wang Yi said this initiative will bring tangible results.
WANG YI CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTER "The three parties agreed that on the basis of the five principles of peaceful co-existence, this dialogue will be taken as an opportunity to increase mutual trust and deepen cooperation. Within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, the three countries will work together to promote connectivity, shared prosperity and common development."
Afghanistan and Pakistan are subject to frequent terrorist attacks. And they blame each other for that violence. Their bilateral ties have also been strained by border issues, like the Durand Line.
MENG QINGSHENG BEIJING "Foreign Minister Wang Yi proposed establishing such a trilateral dialogue mechanism in June this year, when he visited Afghanistan and Pakistan to carry out shuttle diplomacy. The ministers here have agreed that this initiative will serve as a platform for enhancing dialogue and practical cooperation among the three countries."
As an outcome of this dialogue, the ministers agreed to promote an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconstruction process, involving the Taliban. They also pledged to cooperate in a range of fields like the economy, military, intelligence and refugees.
SALAHUDDIN RABBANI AFGHAN FOREIGN MINISTER "We appreciate China's sincere support to Afghanistan's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity as well as our peace and development efforts. I would also like to express profound gratitude to China for the generous assistance to our reconstruction efforts in the past 15 years."
KHAWAJA ASIF PAKISTANI FOREIGN MINISTER "We would like to commend foreign minister Wang Yi for his proposal and efforts to establish Pakistan-China-Afghanistan trilateral Foreign Ministers' Dialogue forum. I believe this forum will go a long way in joint efforts for bringing lasting peace in Afghanistan and enhancing cooperation among our three countries."
The foreign ministers agreed to hold a second trilateral dialogue in Afghanistan in the coming year, and make it an additional mechanism benefiting growth in the three countries. Meng Qingsheng, CGTN, Beijing.