- Foreign Minister Qin Gang expresses satisfaction with progress made on CPEC and reiterates China’s commitment to the project's timely completion
Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Syed Asim Munir, met with Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang on Sunday to discuss regional security and defence cooperation, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a press release.
According to the military's media wing, the COAS also pledged "full support" for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, which is a vital component of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
COAS reaffirmed Pakistan's commitment to the China-Pakistan strategic relationship and also appreciated Beijing’s unwavering support for Islamabad on "regional and international issues."
Foreign Minister Qin Gang underscored the importance of the longstanding strategic relationship between the brotherly nations and expressed his satisfaction with the progress made on the CPEC while reiterating China’s commitment to its timely completion.
He also appreciated Pakistan’s efforts in maintaining regional peace and stability, especially the support of the Pakistan Armed Forces for the provision of security to Chinese nationals and projects in Pakistan.
The two dignitaries also discussed the evolving security situation in the region.
COAS acknowledged China’s role in promoting peace and stability in the region, and both sides agreed to enhance their existing cooperation in defence and security domains to effectively counter common security challenges.
According to the ISPR, the meeting concluded on a positive note, with "both sides reiterating their resolve to further strengthen the time-tested, all-weather friendship."
Earlier on Saturday, Pakistan and China reaffirmed their firm resolve to further strengthen their “time-tested and All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership” through continued close consultations at the leadership level, enhanced practical cooperation, and robust implementation of the CPEC projects.
The understanding was reached during the 4th round of the Pakistan-China Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialogue which was co-chaired by Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang who visited Pakistan from May 5-6 at the invitation of Foreign Minister Bilawal.
COAS, Afghan acting Foreign Minister discuss security issues
Separately, the army chief also held a meeting with the met Acting Afghan Minister for Foreign Affairs, Amir Khan Muttaqi, and discussed issues of mutual interest including aspects related to regional security, border management, and formalization of bilateral security mechanisms for improvement in the current security environment.
COAS stressed the need for enhanced cooperation between the two brotherly neighbours to effectively tackle the common challenges of terrorism and extremism.
He reiterated the need for full support and commitment from the Afghan Interim Government in matters of mutual interest.
"Foreign Minister Muttaqi appreciated Pakistan's traditional support for the people of Afghanistan and acknowledged the important role that Pakistan continues to play in facilitating peace and development in Afghanistan," ISPR said.
"He also expressed his desire to work closely with Pakistan to promote regional stability and prosperity."
The military's media wing said that both sides agreed on the importance of maintaining regular contacts to strengthen bilateral ties and address issues of common concern.
"COAS reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to a stable, peaceful, and prosperous Afghanistan," the press release said.