Pakistan, Afghanistan and China reaffirm their commitment to further strengthening relations

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Pakistan, Afghanistan and China reaffirm their commitment to further strengthening relations

Pakistan, Afghanistan and China have 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 and other regional economic initiatives.

A joint declaration issued after the trilateral dialogue between the three countries in Kabul on Saturday, they agreed to promote China-Afghanistan-Pakistan trilateral cooperation under the framework of jointly building the Belt and Road Initiative.

The three sides reiterated their strong resolve to fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and without any distinction. The three Foreign Ministers agreed to jointly continue their efforts for building political mutual trust and support reconciliation, development cooperation and connectivity, security cooperation and counter-terrorism as the three areas of the trilateral cooperation.

The three sides reaffirmed their support to the Afghan-owned, and Afghan led inclusive peace process that is fully supported regionally and internationally.

In this regard, China and Pakistan appreciated the efforts of President Ashraf Ghani especially for the comprehensive peace plans that came out of the second Kabul Process and the Geneva Conferences on Afghanistan, and therefore called on the Afghan Taliban to join the peace process at an early date. While efforts are underway to start the peace process, the three sides called upon the parties concerned to end violence and the loss of innocent lives in Afghanistan.

They agreed to continue economic development cooperation in areas of mutual interest. The three sides will continue to implement and expand the "soft" projects such as exchange and capacity building programs, and explore "hard" projects of livelihood facilities and connectivity. China expressed its readiness to support Afghanistan and Pakistan in building immigration reception center and drinking water supply schemes at each side of the Ghulam Khan Khel crossing point, and to explore cold storages at Chaman and Spin Boldak. China supports enhanced coordination between Afghanistan and Pakistan on major energy and connectivity projects including the construction of Quetta-Kandahar railway and Kabul-Peshawar Motorway and Railway.

The three sides expressed their strong determination not to allow any country, organization or individual to use their respective territories for terrorist activities against any other countries. The three sides took stock of trilateral cooperation in their fight against terrorism and underlined the need to further strengthen counter-terrorism coordination and cooperation in an effort to combat all terrorist groups and individuals without any discrimination. They also agreed to counter terrorist' logistical capabilities, deny terrorist use of the internet and to take joint steps for deradicalization, as well as work together to break the nexus between narco-trade and terror financing. The three sides agreed that the 3rd Afghanistan-China-Pakistan Foreign Ministers' Dialogue would be held in Islamabad next year.

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Foreign Minister Shah Mehmoud Qureshi has stressed for a joint strategy to eradicate the menace of terrorism from the region.

 He was addressing a joint news conference along with his Chinese and Afghan counterparts after trilateral dialogue in Kabul on Saturday.

 He noted that only through collective efforts we can wipe out terrorism and achieve the objectives of peace and development. 

The foreign minister said we all want peace and stability in Afghanistan. He said Pakistan will benefit the most from the peace and stability of the neighboring country. 

He said Pakistan will extend cooperation to bring all the afghan groups to the table of negotiations. He, however, said it is up to the Afghans themselves as to how they want to achieve the goal of peace. 

Shah Mehmoud Qureshi said Pakistan condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. He said he is visiting Kabul to bridge the trust deficit. 

In his remarks, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said both Afghanistan and Pakistan are friends of China and his country will extend every possible cooperation to build trust and confidence between the two countries.

 He said his country will also assist in establishing connectivity projects including a rail line between Peshawar-Kabul and Kandahar.

 The Chinese foreign minister said the afghan reconciliation process can be taken forward by bringing the Taliban to the table of negotiations.

 Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani said Pakistan has an important role for peace in Afghanistan.  He said peace in his country is vital for peace and security of the entire region.

    He said eradication of terrorism will pave the way for economic development and job creation.