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Pakistan, China and Afghanistan agree to further deepen their cooperation

ISLAMABAD:Pakistan, China and Afghanistan have agreed to further deepen their cooperation in the security, development and political domains based on the principles of mutual respect and mutual benefit.

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari of Pakistan, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang of China and the Acting Foreign Minister Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi of Afghanistan held the 5th China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue in Islamabad, Pakistan on 6th May 2023, says a press statement issued by the Foreign Office here on Monday.

The understanding was reached at the recently concluded Trilateral Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue in Islamabad in the attendance of Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, State Councilor and Foreign Minister of China Qin Gang and Acting Foreign Minister of Afghanistan Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi, according to a Radio Pakistan’s report.

The three sides underscored the need to tackle security challenges directly impacting the stability and economic prosperity of the entire region.

They emphasized the need for not allowing any individual, group or party, including the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement to use their territories to harm and threaten regional security and interests, or conduct terrorist actions and activities.

Underscoring the imperative to generate economic activity within Afghanistan, the Ministers agreed on further supporting the reconstruction of Afghanistan and exploring trilateral investment possibilities for industrialization and job creation.

They called upon the international community to engage constructively with the Afghan side. The three leaders also stressed the importance of sustained and urgent humanitarian support to the people of Afghanistan and urged the relevant countries to lift their unilateral sanctions against Afghanistan for the benefit of the Afghan people and create opportunities for economic development and prosperity there.

They reaffirmed their resolve to fully harness Afghanistan’s potential as a hub for regional connectivity and committed to jointly extend the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor to Afghanistan under the larger Belt and Road Initiative.

The forum stressed on pushing forward the “hard connectivity” in infrastructure and “soft connectivity” in norms and standards to explore the facilitating measures for the movement of people and trade activities between the three countries.

The three sides also agreed to enhance transit trade through Gwadar Port. They also agreed to strengthen people-to-people exchanges and continue cooperation in areas of mutual interest like agriculture, trade, energy, capacity building, border management, economic development and improving livelihoods.

The forum appreciated the neighboring countries especially Pakistan, for the generous hospitality in hosting millions of Afghan refugees, and called on the international community to provide necessary support and assistance to these countries and Afghanistan for the dignified return and reintegration of refugees into the Afghan society.

The three sides resolved to continue with the trilateral cooperation mechanism, including the Director-General Level Practical Cooperation Dialogue, and forge closer-good neighborly relations and partnership.

China and Afghanistan thanked Pakistan for the successful organization of the 5th China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue and its warm hospitality.