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March 20, 2019

Pakistan, China agree to enhance cooperation against terrorism


March 20, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and China agreed on Tuesday to enhance cooperation against terrorism by strengthening communication and coordination in relevant fields, and sent a loud and clear message in the region that there was need for dialogue and peaceful means to resolve all outstanding disputes.

Both countries remain committed to their leadership’s vision to build a closer China-Pakistan community of Shared Future in the New Era, with Prime Minister Imran Khan expected to visit China next month to attend the 2nd Belt and Road Forum.

“The Chinese side highly appreciated Pakistan’s commitment and efforts to counter terrorism. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi expressed appreciation for Chinese support for Pakistan’s efforts”, the Foreign Office said Tuesday.

Appreciation of Pakistan’s continued efforts to eradicate terrorism emerged during the Pakistan China Strategic Dialogue which was co-chaired by State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi of Pakistan.

Chinese support for Pakistan comes as it takes action under the National Action Plan (NAP) and two days after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asked Pakistan to take action against terrorists and stop providing safe havens for them.

During the Strategic Dialogue, the two sides undertook in-depth discussions on all aspects of bilateral relations, including China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, trade, investment and economic cooperation, people-to-people contacts and regional and international issues.

Important for Pakistan as it comes out of a crisis like situation with India was that the two side reaffirmed support to each other on all core issues of their national interest. “They underlined that state sovereignty and territorial integrity are cardinal principles of UN Charter and international law. Foreign Minister Wang Yi called for de-escalation of tensions in South Asia and underlined the need for dialogue and peaceful means to resolve all outstanding disputes”, added the statement.

Just last week, China stood by Pakistan at the UN Security Council and did not vote to ensure that Pakistani national Masood Azhar was designated as a global terrorist. On Tuesday both countries agreed to continue their mutual collaboration at the regional multilateral and international forums. “They expressed their support for consensus-based reform of the United Nations so that it responds to the interests and concerns of all Member States”, added the statement.

On Afghanistan the two foreign ministers urged all sides to show flexibility to find a durable solution to the Afghan conflict. While discussing the situation in Afghanistan both foreign ministers expressed support for the ongoing efforts for peace and reconciliation.

“Both sides reiterated support for Afghan-owned Afghan-led inclusive peace process and called on all stakeholders in Afghanistan to become part of an intra-Afghan dialogue”, said the statement.

As some projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor near completion the two foreign ministers reaffirmed the commitment and agreed to continue the smooth implementation of CPEC projects, especially its Special Economic Zones.

“While rejecting the negative propaganda against CPEC, they expressed a strong resolve to safeguard CPEC from all kinds of threats”, says the Foreign Office.

The two foreign ministers reaffirmed their time-tested and all-weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership and agreed to maintain regular two-way high-level political and official exchanges.

The two sides also agreed to further intensify cooperation with regular meetings of all bilateral mechanisms to take forward practical cooperation in respective fields. They agreed to strengthen people-to-people contacts, cultural cooperation and tourism. It was noted that China and Pakistan are celebrating 2019 as the year of sister-cities exchanges.