Economic, security cooperation tops agenda at trilateral meet in China

ANI | Updated: Dec 26, 2017 15:55 IST

Beijing[China], Dec.26 (ANI): Foreign ministers of China, Pakistan and Afghanistan met Tuesday to enhance cooperation between Kabul and Islamabad and end the long-simmering conflict between both governments.

Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani, Pakistan's Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi also discussed ways to encourage economic and security cooperation.

"China, Afghanistan and Pakistan, as three neighbors, will naturally try to strengthen cooperation amongst each other," Wang was quoted as saying by state broadcaster CCTV.

He further stated, "This is fully in accordance with our common interests, and is a good thing for us. We have agreed to help Afghanistan in peace process and to improve relations between Kabul and Islamabad. Pakistan will take practical action over the Afghan peace process."

"We called on Taliban to join the peace process and Pakistan has announced their support for peace talks between Taliban and Afghan government. China will also support the Afghan peace process. We will also continue our fight against the terrorists. Extremism must not be active in this region," he noted.

Wang said, "Good relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan is in the interests of their people and also the region. China aims to improve relations between the two countries. We will also be present at the Kabul Process meeting which is going to be held in February."

Rabbani said Afghanistan is committed to cooperating with China because the country respects the Afghan government.

"We will continue our efforts to fight terrorism. Fighting terrorism needs joint cooperation. We believe this will improve our relations with Pakistan to fight common threats. This meeting is a different one - it was the initiative of the Chinese President. In Kabul Process meeting which is going to be held in February, we will discuss what decisions need to be made," he said.

Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif described Afghanistan and Pakistan as two "strong brothers" and added that "Peace in Afghanistan is a need for Pakistan."

China hoped the meeting could set up a communication platform for Afghanistan and Pakistan that would allow the two countries to build trust, enhance understanding and improve ties, Wang said, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

The three countries agreed to establish the mechanism during Wang's visit to Kabul and Islamabad in June. (ANI)