China, Pakistan, Afghanistan agree to boost security, economic cooperation

China, Pakistan, Afghanistan agree to boost security, economic cooperation

Islamabad, The Gulf Observer: China, Afghanistan and Pakistan on Saturday agreed to deepen anti-terrorism cooperation and enhance economic collaboration to boost regional stability and development. The three sides made the pledges at the fifth China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue in Islamabad.

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang, acting foreign minister of the Afghan interim government Amir Khan Muttaqi and Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari attended the meeting.

Qin spoke highly of the gathering, saying it marks the restart of the China-Afghanistan-Pakistan trilateral cooperation mechanism. He said that China has been attaching great importance to the friendship with Afghanistan and Pakistan, and is willing to work with the two sides to implement the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative, share development opportunities, jointly meet security challenges, and promote regional stability and prosperity.

Qin stressed the importance of anti-terrorism cooperation, saying China firmly opposes any form of terrorism and is ready to step up cooperation in fighting terrorism under regional multilateral frameworks including the coordination and cooperation mechanism among Afghanistan’s neighboring countries. Qin noted that China hopes Afghanistan and Pakistan will further strengthen security measures for Chinese personnel, institutions and projects.

He added that China is willing to strengthen policy coordination and enhance strategic mutual trust through the trilateral cooperation mechanism. China is also ready to strengthen development cooperation, share development opportunities and increase cultural and people-to-people exchanges with Afghanistan and Pakistan, Qin noted.

Bilawal and Muttaqi both agree that the trilateral cooperation mechanism is of great significance to regional peace and prosperity, pledging to actively promote the trilateral cooperation, formulate a roadmap for political, security and economic cooperation to safeguard the common interests of the three countries, achieve mutual benefit, and bring benefits to the people of the three countries and other countries in the region.

The three ministers had candid and in-depth exchanges on topics such as mutual trust, security cooperation, counter-terrorism, connectivity, trade and investment, and reached a series of consensus.

They all agreed to deepen political mutual trust, respect each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and properly handle differences through equal consultation. They said they uniformly oppose interference in Afghanistan’s internal affairs, illegal unilateral sanctions against Afghanistan, and all acts that undermine regional peace and stability.

In regard to anti-terrorism cooperation, China and Pakistan support the Afghan interim government to strengthen its capacity to better cope with the threat of terrorism. The Afghan side briefed on its security situation and anti-terrorism efforts, stressing that it would not allow any forces to use its territory for terrorist activities targeting China and Pakistan.

The three sides also agreed to strengthen exchanges and cooperation in economy, trade, agriculture, poverty reduction and people-to-people exchanges. They will advance the Belt and Road Initiative cooperation, and extend the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) cooperation to Afghanistan, so as to promote connectivity, improve cross-border trading, enhance the economic integration of the three countries and achieve sustainable development.