China hosts meeting to improve Afghanistan-Pakistan relations

Source: Xinhua| 2017-12-26 20:47:08|Editor: Liangyu
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Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (C), Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani (L) and Pakistani Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif, meet the press after the 1st China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Foreign Ministers' Dialogue, in Beijing, capital of China, Dec. 26, 2017. (Xinhua/Yan Yan)

BEIJING, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- Improvement of Afghanistan-Pakistan relations was high on the agenda of a meeting of the foreign ministers from the two and China in Beijing on Tuesday.

"Afghanistan and Pakistan agreed to improve bilateral relations as soon as possible and to realize harmonious co-existence, promising to resolve their concerns through comprehensive dialogue and consultation," Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters after the meeting.

Pakistan's proposal -- establishing working panels in politics, military, intelligence, economy and refugees -- was echoed by Afghanistan and supported by China.

"This is important progress achieved in the meeting," Wang said.

"As a good friend of Afghanistan and Pakistan, China is willing to play a constructive role in improving Afghanistan-Pakistan ties through the trilateral dialogue," Wang said.

The three countries reaffirmed their commitment to pushing forward the reconciliation process in Afghanistan, calling on the Taliban to join in the process. China and Pakistan expressed support for peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

Afghanistan and Pakistan reiterated their willingness to synergize their own development strategies with China's Belt and Road Initiative and to explore the possibility of trilateral partnership under this initiative.

Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani and Pakistani Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif thanked China for the effort in building mutual trust between their countries, expressing support for trilateral cooperation to fight terrorism.

As the first meeting since the three agreed to establish a trilateral dialogue mechanism in June, the foreign ministers' meeting aims at facilitating dialogue between Afghanistan and Pakistan and reinforcing trilateral cooperation in politics, economy and security.

"Our dialogue is not targeted at any other party nor will it be subject to influence from other countries or forces," Wang said, adding that the dialogue will complement other existing mechanisms and contribute to peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region.

The second trilateral foreign ministers' meeting will take place in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 2018.

KEY WORDS: Afghanistan-Pakistan