Pakistan - China asks Afghanistan to restart talks with Afghan Taliban


BEIJING - The top diplomats from Pakistan and China on Friday took swipes at US President Donald Trump's new Afghanistan policy as they called for new talks with the Taliban to resolve the 16-year conflict.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Beijing stood firmly behind its ironclad friend Pakistan, even though "some countries" did not give Islamabad the credit it deserved in fighting terrorism, a pointed reference to the US.

Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif's first trip abroad to Beijing appeared to highlight how ties between the two all-weather allies have grown even closer while Pakistan's critical relationship with the US is disintegrating amid mutual recriminations and distrust.

Addressing a joint press conference in Beijing, Wang and Asif announced that China, Pakistan and Afghanistan will hold a new series of three-way talks later this year in China to push forward settlement negotiations with the Taliban while the US doubles down on its military campaign.

"It's our firm view that there is no military solution in Afghanistan, the focus should be on a politically negotiated settlement," Asif told reporters. "China is playing a very constructive role in this regard."

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