Pakistan, China reiterates support for Afghan-owned, Afghan-led peace process      

Associated Press of Pakistan September 8, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister of Pakistan Shah Mahmood Qureshi and State Councilor and Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi Foreign on Saturday reiterated their countries’ full support to Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process in Afghanistan and stressed upon continuation of the recent peace negotiations to bring durable peace in the war torn country.

China and Pakistan also 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.

Addressing a joint press conference along with his Chinese and Afghan counterparts, after holding 3rd Session of China-Afghanistan-Pakistan foreign ministers’ dialogue, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said they held a very fruitful meeting in which they had discussed various areas of cooperation including the regional connectivity. This trilateral platform proved very helpful for future engagements, he added.

The discussions would be helpful for thrashing out future mechanism of close cooperation and enhanced engagements among the three countries, he added.

The minister while referring to the recent meetings of Prime Minister Imran Khan with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said considerable improvement in Pak-Afghan ties had been achieved.

He said they had agreed upon to make this useful mechanism of close cooperation further beneficial through future interactions.

Qureshi termed China ‘a good neigbour and trusted strategic partner’ and said ties between Pakistan and China had been growing considerably. The regional connectivity initiated by China would benefit not only Pakistan but the whole region.

Reiterating Pakistan’s full support to the peace process in Afghanistan, he further said US-Taliban framework agreement could ensure sustainable peace in Afghanistan and the region.

The minister said the international community had recognized and acknowledged Pakistan’s efforts against terrorism and facilitation for the Afghan peace process.

State Councilor and Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi Foreign said Afghan peace process offered a major opportunity to all segments of Afghan society to seize upon it and make the dialogue process a success.   He noted that solidarity and durable peace in Afghanistan was key to peace and development of the whole region.

The Chinese minister also cautioned that the peace process was passing through a critical stage and the foreign troops withdrawal should be made in orderly manner, paving way for further stability.

He stressed that this Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process should be acceptable to all Afghans.

He said efforts should be made to ensure that Afghanistan should not again become a sanctuary of terrorism.

Yi also appreciated Pakistan’s efforts in the Afghan peace process and said the leadership of Pakistan and Afghanistan had shown political courage.

He highlighted the areas in which the three countries could further enhance their cooperation. The Chinese foreign minister said being an international partner for development, China was ready to undertake major connectivity projects connecting Pakistan with Afghanistan.

Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani said China and Pakistan had shown strong support to Afghan people in determining their own future.

He called upon Taliban to express their genuine desire for peace by halting recent waves of attacks on Afghan cities.

Rabbani further stressed upon building of this close cooperation among the three countries with his government’s focus on transport and energy sectors.

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