ISLAMABAD: Pakistan, China and Afghanistan have agreed to continue their joint efforts for building political mutual trust and supporting reconciliation, regional peace and stability, development cooperation and connectivity, security cooperation and counter-terrorism as key areas of the trilateral cooperation.
The agreement came in a joint statement issued after the 3rd round of China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue held in Islamabad today (Saturday).
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his Afghan and Chinese Counterparts Salahuddin Rabbani and Wang Yi attended the meeting along with their respective delegations.
The three sides noted with satisfaction the progress made under the trilateral cooperation since the 2nd Dialogue held in Kabul last year.
The three Foreign Ministers reiterated their resolve to further deepen various strands of trilateral cooperation.
They condemned the recent terrorist attacks in Kabul, Kunduz, Baghlan and Farah, which have taken many innocent civilian lives including women and children.
China, Afghanistan and Pakistan, while closely following recent developments in the regional situation, reiterated their support for a politically negotiated settlement of the conflict in Afghanistan.
In this regard, they took note of the talks between the U.S. and the Taliban.
They expressed hope that intra-Afghan negotiations including direct talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban begin soon and lead to full cessation of violence bringing lasting peace for the people of Afghanistan.
They particularly underlined the need for an inclusive, Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process leading to a comprehensive agreement for durable peace and stability in the country.
Based on respect for the will of the Afghan people, while appreciating the efforts made by the Government of Afghanistan, China and Pakistan 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.
The three sides reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthening their relations, exploring new ways of deepening cooperation, including advancing connectivity under the Belt and Road Initiative, Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan and other regional economic initiatives.
They agreed to explore ‘China-Afghanistan-Pakistan plus’ cooperation, as well as working towards promoting trade and connectivity projects between Afghanistan and Pakistan, such as Kabul-Peshawar Motorway.
The three sides welcomed the progress made on implementation of projects agreed under the China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Practical Cooperation Dialogue.
They agreed to continue cooperation in the fields of economic development, capacity building, improving livelihood and people-to-people exchanges.
China expressed its readiness to support construction of refrigeration storages, clinic centers, drinking water supply schemes and immigration reception centers at crossing points between Afghanistan and Pakistan to facilitate the movement of people and trade activities among the two countries.
The three sides welcomed the plans to hold a trilateral friendly cricket tournament among junior cricket teams of the three countries in Beijing next month.
They also agreed to arrange a capacity building workshop of young diplomats from the three countries under the Junior Diplomats Exchange Program to be held in Pakistan next month.
The three Foreign Ministers agreed to organize an Archaeologists’ Exchange Program, explore cooperation among the Red Crescent Societies of the three countries, besides regularly undertaking exchange projects in the areas of media, think-tanks, sports and joint training.
China, Afghanistan and Pakistan reiterated their strong resolve to fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and without any distinction.
They reaffirmed commitment of not letting any terrorist organization, element or individual use their soils against any country.
They also decided to work towards effectively implementing the trilateral MoU on Cooperation in Counter-terrorism, signed at the 2nd round of Trilateral Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue held in Kabul, and agreed on a list of initial projects of enhancing counter-terrorism cooperation in this regard.
They recognized the need to continue their joint fight against Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement and its supporters and facilitators.
The three sides committed to promote measures to counter terrorist’s logistical capabilities including terror-financing, recruitment and training.
They also agreed to take advantage of the trilateral Vice-Ministerial Strategic Dialogue, the Vice-Ministerial Consultation on Counter-Terrorism and Security, and the Director-General Level Practical Cooperation Dialogue to implement the consensus of the 3rd Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue.
The three countries decided to hold the next round of Trilateral Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue in Beijing next year.