Pakistan-China-Afghanistan agree to promote political reconciliation

08:59 AM | 26 Dec, 2017
Pakistan-China-Afghanistan agree to promote political reconciliation
BEIJING - The first of its kind Afghanistan-China-Pakistan trilateral talks at foreign ministers level concluded in Beijing on Tuesday with a resolve to promote political reconciliation.

On the invitation of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, delegation from Pakistan and Afghanistan reached Beijing to attend the moot. Pakistan's Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif and Acting Foreign Minister of Afghanistan Salahuddin Rabbani headed the respective delegations.

According to a joint press release, "The three foreign ministers agreed to jointly work together on political mutual trust and reconciliation, development cooperation and connectivity, security cooperation and counter-terrorism as three topics of the trilateral cooperation".

"Afghanistan and Pakistan congratulated China on the successful conclusion of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, and fully supported the initiative proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping to build community with a shared future for mankind".

All the three sides reaffirmed their commitment to improving their relations, deepening mutually beneficial cooperation, advancing connectivity under the Belt and Road Initiative. They also showed commitment to fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestation without any distinction.

The three sides reaffirmed that a broad-based and inclusive peace and reconciliation process, which is "Afghan-led, Afghan-owned", and fully supported regionally and internationally, is the most viable solution to end the violence in Afghanistan. In this regard, they call on the Afghan Taliban to join the peace process at an early date.

The three sides agreed to conduct win-win trilateral economic cooperation, with an incremental approach, starting from the easier initiative to the more difficult ones. The three sides reached a consensus to continue economic development cooperation in areas of mutual interest, and expressed willingness to strengthen people-to-people contacts.

The three sides reiterated their firm resolve to fight the menace of terrorism. They expressed their strong determination not to allow any country, organization or individual to use their respective territories for terrorist activities against any other countries.

The ministers agreed to strengthen counter-terrorism coordination and cooperation in an effort to combat all terrorist organizations and individuals without any discrimination. The three sides will communicate and consult on developing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Counter-Terrorism Cooperation.

The Afghan and Pakistani sides thanked the Chinese side for the successful holding of the 1st China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Foreign Ministers' Dialogue and its warm hospitality, and three sides agreed that the 2nd China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Foreign Ministers' Dialogue will be held in Kabul in 2018.


Maiden Meeting

Though the three countries have held several talks regarding counter-terrorism before, this is the first time the three will meet at a ministerial level.

The three countries had agreed to convene a trilateral talks during Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to the two countries in June this year.

Talking to reporters on Monday, Wang said: “China, Afghanistan and Pakistan, as three neighbors, will naturally try to strengthen cooperation amongst each other. This is fully in accordance with our common interests, and is a good thing for us.”

During the meeting, the three countries will have in-depth discussions on mutual security, development and economic cooperation, CGTN reported.

Wang said the purpose of the talks is to establish a communication platform for Afghanistan and Pakistan and strengthen the trilateral cooperation.

He urged the two countries to build trust, boost understanding and improve bilateral relations.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying talking to media last weed said, "It will be the first meeting of its kind since the three countries agreed to establish a trilateral dialogue mechanism in June".

Pak-China Meeting

Earlier, Khawaja Asif along with Pakistan delegation comprising Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua, DG China desk and others also held a bilateral meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi. Matters related to development work under China-Pakistan Corridor Project were discussed during the meeting.