Pakistan, China, agree to strengthen cooperation on Afghan issue

Associated Press of Pakistan September 8, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and China Sunday agreed to strengthen cooperation on the Afghanistan issue and support the ‘Afghan-led, Afghan-owned’ peace and reconciliation process.

During the two-day visit of State Councilor and Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi, the two leaderships welcomed the positive progress achieved in the negotiations between the Afghan Taliban and the US, and called on all Afghan political stakeholders, including the Afghan Taliban, to start intra-Afghan negotiations to form a future political structure acceptable to all parties and achieve peace and stability in Afghanistan at an early date, according to a joint statement issued on the conclusion of the Chinese foreign minister’s visit.

The Chinese foreign minister paid an official visit to Pakistan on September 7-8, 2019. During the visit, he called on President Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Imran Khan, held talks with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, and met with Chief of Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

During the meetings, both sides had an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest.

Both the countries exchanged views on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. The Pakistani side briefed the Chinese side on the situation, including its concerns, position, and urgent humanitarian issues.

The Chinese side responded that it was paying close attention to the current situation in Jammu and Kashmir and reiterated that the Kashmir issue was a dispute left from history, and should be properly and peacefully resolved based on the UN Charter, relevant UN Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements. China opposes any unilateral actions that complicate the situation.

Both sides reiterated that the time-tested All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership between China and Pakistan was an anchor of peace and stability in the region and beyond.

This partnership remains unaffected by any adverse regional and international development and continues to move from strength to strength, they reiterated.

Both sides reaffirmed that China-Pakistan relationship was a priority in their foreign policies, and committed to build a closer China-Pakistan community with a shared future in the new era.

Pakistan and China agreed to maintain frequent mutual visits and meetings at the leadership level and continued to hold bilateral meetings between their leaders on multilateral occasions.

They believed that China and Pakistan had enjoyed mutual understanding and support on issues concerning each other’s core interests.

They reiterated the resolve to implement consensus reached by the leadership of both countries to enhance strategic mutual trust and improve all-round cooperation so as to jointly promote regional peace, stability and prosperity.

The Chinese side reaffirmed its support for Pakistan in safeguarding its sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence and national dignity, in choosing its development path in light of its national conditions, in working for a better external security environment, and in playing a more constructive role in regional and international issues.

Both sides believed that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, as a pioneering project of the Belt and Road Initiative, had entered a new phase of high-quality development.

The two sides agreed to continue to firmly push forward the construction of CPEC, complete its on-going projects in a timely manner, and realize its full potential by focusing on socio-economic development, job creation and better livelihood and accelerating cooperation in industrial parks and agriculture.

Both the countries expressed satisfaction over the close cooperation between the two countries at multilateral fora and resolved to deepen strategic coordination and consultation. They reaffirmed their commitment to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and support for multilateralism, free trade and win-win cooperation.

They agreed to strengthen coordination and cooperation on regional and international affairs. The two sides underlined that a peaceful, stable, cooperative and prosperous South Asia was in the common interest of all parties. Parties need to settle disputes and issues in the region through dialogue on the basis of mutual respect and equality.

State Councilor Wang Yi expressed his appreciation to the government and people of Pakistan for their warm hospitality.

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