Thursday, 24 January, 2019

Tripartite talks: Pakistan signs anti-terrorism cooperation MoU with China, Afghanistan

Zalmay Khalilzad held three days of talks with the Taliban in Qatar in November Zalmay Khalilzad held three days of talks with the Taliban in Qatar in November
Jeannette Daniel | 16 December, 2018, 07:40

"Pakistan condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations", Qureshi stated adding, that he said he is visiting Kabul to bridge the trust deficit between the two countries.

The meeting, which followed initial talks between the three countries a year ago, is the latest sign of China's increasing engagement in the region, where it has invested massively in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a central part of its global Belt and Road initiative.

Pakistan-China-Afghanistan trilateral dialogue was held today (Saturday) in Kabul to to discuss mutual cooperation and peace efforts.

Possible technical assistance from Pakistan and China for Afghanistan's progress were also discussed during the meeting.

Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the Memorandum of Understanding was signed on the sidelines of the trilateral summit between Afghanistan, Pakistan, and China.

The foreign minister insisted that cooperation between Pakistan, Afghanistan and China was vital for a "prosperous, stable and peaceful future of the region".

Chinese FM Wang Yi (L), Afghan FM Salahuddin Rabbani (C) and FM Shah Mehmood Qureshi (R) sign an MoU for cooperation over curbing terrorism, as Afghan President Ashraf Ghani looks on, after a meeting of the trilateral ministerial dialogue in Kabul.

Qureshi is accompanied by Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua and other senior officials of Pakistan's foreign office, Pakistani media reported.

Qureshi continued, "Pakistan has always supported dialogue process for peaceful resolution of Afghan conflict and our stance has now also been vindicated by the worldwide community".

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China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Kabul and Islamabad have agreed to improve bilateral relations between the two nations.

He said Pakistan will extend cooperation to bring all the afghan groups to the table of negotiations.

After the meeting on Saturday, Pakistan's Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi pushed for a new chapter with Afghanistan, adding that the ongoing blame game would not help in achieving peace or building trust between Islamabad and Kabul.

"Such meetings can be helpful in mending ties between the countries and in helping them come closer to achieving a peace plan", he told Arab News.

"We urge the [Afghan] Taliban to take advantage of this chance for peace and hold negotiations", Yi said.

Qureshi thanked China for its role in "bringing Afghanistan and Pakistan closer". "It is time that practical steps are taken in this regard".

Further, during his day-long visit, the foreign minister will hold bilateral dialogue with his Chinese counterpart.

He stressed upon further promotion of ties among the three countries and underlined the need for a joint strategy to eradicate the menace of terrorism from the region. Earlier this month US President Donald Trump requested Pakistan's support for the US effort to advance the Afghan peace process.

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