ISLAMABAD: Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang will visit Pakistan from May 5-6 for holding crucial talks with Pakistani authorities on further strengthening strategic partnership and economic cooperation between the two strategic partners.
Diplomatic sources told Business Recorder that during his maiden visit to Pakistan, the Chinese FM will also attend the trilateral meeting on Afghanistan with Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and Afghan interim Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi who will also be visiting Pakistan from May 6-9.
In the bilateral context, the sources said that Foreign Minister Qin Gang would hold bilateral talks with FM Bilawal, on Saturday, in which, the two sides would review the entire gamut of bilateral relations and strategic partnership, focusing on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Besides, they added that a trilateral meeting of the foreign ministers of Pakistan, China and Afghanistan was also scheduled on Saturday in which the three sides would exchange views on the situation in Afghanistan as well as explore the ways and means with regard to strengthening cooperation with Afghanistan to deal with challenges, the top of which the issue of terrorism as well as economic and humanitarian crises.
The Chinese FM will be arriving in Islamabad after the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Foreign Ministers’ meeting, being held in Goa, India from May 4-5.
Meanwhile, a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) committee has allowed the Afghan interim Foreign Minister Muttaqi to travel to Pakistan, who has been subjected to a travel ban, asset freeze and arms embargo under the UN Security Council sanctions.
In Islamabad from May 6-9, the sources said the Afghan interim foreign minister would hold bilateral talks with FM Bilawal on issues of mutual interest, cooperation in the fields of trade and investment and most importantly on Pakistan’s grave concerns over the involvement of banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in terrorism in the country.
Muttaqi will also be attending the meeting of the three foreign ministers on the issue of Afghanistan in which he is expected to update the Chinese and Pakistani sides on the steps taken or being taken by the interim government of the Taliban to honour international commitments, besides discussing ways for continued cooperation among the three countries in various areas.
The visit of the Taliban’s top diplomat comes as special representatives of nearly two dozen countries and international institutions discussed Afghanistan’s situation in a meeting on Monday in Qatar, organised by the United Nations with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for talks on Afghanistan, focusing the plight of women and girls under the Taliban’s interim government.
Taliban authorities were not invited to attend the closed-door two-day meeting in Doha. Pakistan is being represented in the moot by Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023