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China to host strategic Afghanistan-Pakistan talks

China to host strategic Afghanistan-Pakistan talks

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May 16, 2018 - 10:14

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): China will host the next round of the strategic dialogue on cooperation between Afghanistaninfo-icon and Pakistaninfo-icon at the end of this month in Beijing, a top diplomat said.

Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing said this while addressing the Afghan-Pak-China track-II discussion titled “China-Afghanistan-Pakistan: Engagement for Sustainable Growth”, organized by RPI, the Chinese Embassy & CPDS.

China proposed hosting the three-way talks this month to continue with its diplomatic push to help the two neighboring countries improve their strained bilateral ties.

Jing told the conference of government representatives and experts from the three countries in Islamabad on Tuesday that Beijing had initiated the trilateral vice foreign minister-level dialogue in 2015.

Since then, several rounds of talks have taken place, with the mission of easing Kabul's tensions with Islamabad and promoting security, counterterrorism and economic cooperation among the three nations.

"So, for this purpose the Chinese government has proposed to ... hold the next round of the strategic dialogue and also the practical cooperation dialogue at the end of this month in Beijing," Jing announced.

The engagement would further enhance "our sense of a common community, our sense of development, our sense of a common destiny of the three countries," the ambassador added.

Without the participation and common development of neighboring countries, including Pakistan and Afghanistan, Beijing could not achieve the development of western China under its global Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), he commented.

​Both Chinese and Pakistani officials admit a peaceful Afghanistan is vital for promoting mutual and regional economic cooperation.

"Afghanistan and Pakistan occupy the central part, the hub of this initiative. Afghanistan is so crucial for the success of this initiative," Jing said. He praised Islamabad and Kabul for achieving progress in Monday’s bilateral negotiations.

Senior foreign ministry officials of the two countries have agreed after months of deliberations to further bilateral engagements under a formal framework for resolving issues straining mutual ties and for promoting a peaceful end to the Afghan war.

The Chinese foreign ministry also issued its formal reaction to the progress made in Monday's talks between the two estranged neighbours. "We believe that it will help create an enabling environmentinfo-icon for the early realisation of peace in Afghanistan.

“It will also contribute to the two sides' efforts to uphold peace and development of their countries, as well as the whole region," ministry spokesperson Lu Kang remarked.

jhk/mud

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