Islamabad/Kabul   -  Foreign ministers of Pakistan, China and Afghanistan met in Kabul on Saturday to continue their efforts on “building political mutual trust and support reconciliation, development cooperation and connectivity, security cooperation and counter-terrorism”.

The three countries signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) vis-a-vis anti-terrorism cooperation during the second trilateral ministerial dialogue. The three sides reiterated their firm commitment to implement activities and projects agreed under practical cooperation.

The MoU was signed by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and his Chinese and Afghan counterparts Wang Yi and Salahuddin Rabbani. The signing of the document was witnessed by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

Addressing a joint press conference after the meeting, Qureshi said that Pakistan was committed to a peaceful and stable Afghanistan in accordance with the wishes of Afghan people, said a statement issued in Islamabad.

Reiterating Pakistan’s all-out support to Afghan peace and reconciliation process, he said they all wanted peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Qureshi also underscored the need to remove trust deficit between Pakistan and Afghanistan. He further said Pakistan would continue supporting the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned dialogue process. Pakistan would benefit the most from the peace and stability in Afghanistan, he added.

Qureshi said Pakistan had been a victim of terrorism and had given huge sacrifices in the fight against terrorism. He said Pakistan had a very firm stance on terrorism and condemned it in all its forms and manifestations. 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.

Afghan Foreign Minister Rabbani stressed upon collective efforts to tackle terrorism in the region and linked the peace and stability in Afghanistan with the development and prosperity of the region.

The objective of the meeting was to further strengthen the ties and promote cooperation in different spheres; he said and extended his country’s support to Chinese belt and road project.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in his address said, Afghanistan and Pakistan were the two brotherly countries and extended China’s complete support to Afghanistan peace and reconciliation process. He stressed upon bringing Taliban on the negotiation table to further the peace process in Afghanistan. He said China and Pakistan were strategic cooperative partners. China would also assist in establishing connectivity projects including a rail link between Peshawar-Kabul and Kandahar, he announced.

A joint statement released after the dialogue reads that the three sides reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthening their relations, deepening cooperation and advancing connectivity under the Belt and Road Initiative, Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA) and other regional economic initiatives.

According to the statement, Afghanistan, China and Pakistan signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Counter-Terrorism to advance their cooperation in this respect.

The statement says that the three sides reiterated their strong resolve to fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and without any distinction.

The statement reads that the three sides reiterated their support to an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led as well as an inclusive peace process.

 

Qureshi calls on Afghan president

 Foreign Minister Qureshi also met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in Kabul on the sidelines of trilateral meeting of the foreign ministers of Pakistan, China and Afghanistan.

Separately, he also called on Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, who thanked the Pakistan leadership for their commitment towards peace in Afghanistan, Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal said on his twitter account.

Qureshi said the trilateral forum could play a valuable role for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.

Earlier, the foreign minister also held a meeting with his Afghan counterpart Syed Salahuddin Rabbani. Bilateral and other issues of mutual interest were discussed. The Afghan foreign minister thanked Qureshi for Pakistan’s efforts in the Afghan reconciliation and peace process, the spokesperson further tweeted.