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July 8, 2020

Pakistan, China hail Afghan govt efforts for peace process

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July 8, 2020

ISLAMABAD: With the Afghan peace process now entering a crucial phase, China and Pakistan on Tuesday appreciated the efforts by the Afghanistan government and relevant parties in expediting the exchange of the prisoners to pave the way for the start of the intra-Afghan negotiations and called for violence reduction and humanitarian ceasefire.

“China and Pakistan will enhance cooperation with the Afghan government in support of the ‘Afghan-led, Afghan-owned’ peace reconciliation process, the launch of intra-Afghan negotiations at an early date, the preservation of the gains since 2001, and looked forward to the early restoration of peace and stability in Afghanistan,” said the Foreign Office at the conclusion of the the third round China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Trilateral Vice Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialogue that was held via video link.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui, Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Mirwais Nab and Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood co-chaired the dialogue.

A subtle message was sent to foreign troops withdrawing from this landlocked country when the three sides urged for an orderly, responsible and condition-based withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan to avoid potential terrorist resurgence.

The three sides agreed to continue to strengthen counter-terrorism and security cooperation, combat the “East Turkistan Islamic Movement”, and all other terrorist forces and networks posing threats to the common security.

There was commitment during the dialogue that both Pakistan and Afghanistan will take steps to work on bilateral relations. On Sunday, Pakistan’s special representative on Afghanistan Ambassador Muhammad Sadiq had announced that Head of Afghan Peace Council Dr Abdullah Abdullah would pay an official visit to Pakistan.

“Afghanistan and Pakistan agreed to further strengthen dialogue and work for continuous improvement of bilateral relations including through the effective implementation of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS). China will continue to play a constructive role in improving Afghanistan-Pakistan relations,” said the Foreign Office. Of importance for Pakistan at this stage is the return of the Afghan refugees and the three sides agreed that the return of Afghan refugees should be part of peace and reconciliation process and underlined the role of international community for a time-bound and well-resourced roadmap for the return of Afghan refugees to their homeland with dignity and honour.

The three sides expressed readiness to carry out trilateral practical cooperation in flexible manners, and keep exploring new fields of cooperation, with a view to accumulating outcomes for the 4th China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue.

On July 7, 2020, the three sides conducted in-depth discussions and reached consensus on cooperation against COVID-19, the Afghan peace and reconciliation process, and trilateral cooperation.

All three attach great importance to the China-Afghanistan-Pakistan trilateral cooperation and would continue to vigorously implement the outcome of the third China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue. The three sides reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening communication and coordination and enhancing mutual trust and cooperation under the trilateral cooperation mechanism.