China, Afghanistan, Pakistan pledge efforts to safeguard regional peace, stability

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (L), Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi (C) and Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani attend the 3rd China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Foreign Ministers' Dialogue in Islamabad, capital of Pakistan, Sept. 7, 2019. (Xinhua/Liu Tian)

ISLAMABAD, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) — The 3rd China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue was held here in Islamabad on Saturday, and the three sides stressed the need to jointly safeguard regional peace and stability amid the changing and complicated circumstances.

The situation in south Asia is going through profound and complicated changes, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at the meeting.

Progress has been achieved in the peace talks between the United States and the Afghan Taliban, and there is an important opportunity for Afghanistan’s peace and reconciliation, he noted.

Meanwhile, some historical disputes have again escalated, undermining peace and stability in the region, Wang said.

In the international arena, unilateralism, protectionism and hegemony have threatened and challenged the interests of developing countries, he added.

China, Afghanistan and Pakistan are close neighbors with a shared future, Wang said. The three countries share the aspirations to safeguard regional peace and achieve lasting stability, the need to push forward Belt and Road development and regional connectivity, as well as the expectation to achieve sustainable development and improve people’s livelihood.

The three sides should work together and make new efforts to push forward the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation process in Afghanistan, improve the relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan, promote trilateral practical cooperation as well as jointly combat terrorism, among others, he said.

For their part, Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani and Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi made positive assessment on the progress achieved in cooperation and exchange on the three major themes within the framework of the China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue, namely political mutual trust and reconciliation, development cooperation and connectivity, and security cooperation and fighting terrorism. They also spoke highly of China’s contribution in pushing forward the cooperation among the three countries.

The two foreign ministers said China, always a good neighbor and a trustworthy friend of Afghanistan and pakistan, has long played an important and positive role in promoting Afghanistan’s peace and reconciliation process, pushing forward the improvement of the relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan and maintaining peace and stability in the region.

With the complicated regional situation which is undergoing fast change, Afghanistan and Pakistan are willing to boost communication and coordination with China so as to deepen cooperation in such fields of economy and trade, people to people exchange, communication and connectivity, jointly build the Belt and Road, join hands in combating terrorism including the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, maintaining regional peace and stability as well as promoting regional development and prosperity, they said.

The foreign ministers from China, Afghanistan and Pakistan reached agreement on pressing forward the realization of lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan through the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation process and implementing common connectivity programs with international financial institutions including the World Bank, among others.

The three foreign ministers also agreed to hold the 4th China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue in 2020 in China.