By Ali Imran
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and China would enhance cooperation with Afghanistan in support of an “Afghan-led, Afghan-owned” peace reconciliation process, a joint statement by the three countries said on Tuesday.
The statement came as Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui, Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Mirwais Nab and Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood co-chaired the third round of China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Trilateral Vice Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialogue from their respective countries, via video-link.
Pakistan and China also favoured intra-Afghan negotiations at an early date, the preservation of the gains since 2001 and also looked forward to the early restoration of peace and stability in Afghanistan, according to the joint statement of three countries as shared by the Foreign Office.
The tree countries urged for an orderly, responsible and condition-based withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan to avoid potential terrorist resurgence
“The three sides agreed that the return of Afghan refugees should be part of peace and reconciliation process and underlined the role of international community for a time-bound and well-resourced roadmap for the return of Afghan refugees to their homeland with dignity and honour,” the statement mentioned.
Afghanistan and Pakistan agreed to further strengthen dialogue and work for continuous improvement of bilateral relations, including through the effective implementation of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS).
“China will continue to play a constructive role in improving Afghanistan-Pakistan relations,” the statement added. China and Pakistan appreciated the efforts by the Afghanistan government and relevant parties in expediting the exchange of the prisoners to pave the way for the start of the Intra-Afghan negotiations and call for violence reduction and humanitarian ceasefire.
Pakistan, China and Afghanistan agreed to continue to strengthen counter-terrorism and security cooperation, combat the “East Turkistan Islamic Movement”, and all other terrorist forces and networks posing threats to their common security.
The three sides attached great importance to the China-Afghanistan-Pakistan trilateral cooperation and expressed the will to continue vigorously implement the outcome of the third China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue.
The three sides conducted in-depth discussions and reached consensus on cooperation against COVID-19, the Afghan peace and reconciliation process, and trilateral cooperation.
They reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening communication and coordination and enhancing mutual trust and cooperation under the trilateral cooperation mechanism.
The three sides agreed to further the cooperation against COVID-19, call on the international community to jointly prevent discrimination and stigma, support the World Health Organization’s leading role in coordinating global COVID-19 response, promote international cooperation on joint prevention and control, and safeguard public health security in the region and beyond.
The three countries expressed readiness to carry out trilateral practical cooperation in flexible manners, and keep exploring new fields of cooperation, with a view to accumulating outcomes for the 4th China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue, the statement concluded.