Pak-China-Afghanistan trilateral mechanism imperative for regional peace: FM
Pakistan making efforts for peace, stability in region: Says FM
ISLAMABAD, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Thursday said Pakistan attached huge importance to its trilateral mechanism with China and Afghanistan for enhancing cooperation and coordination in the areas of shared interest.
In his virtual address at the 4th China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Trilateral Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue, the foreign minister said Pakistan had always strived to strengthen its relations with China and Afghanistan in the bilateral as well as regional context.
The foreign minister said, “We strongly believe that peace, prosperity, and economic development of our three countries are interlinked.”
About four years ago, he said, three countries had conceived this trilateral forum for discussing collaborative efforts to promote peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region, enhancing security and counter-terrorism cooperation and deepening regional connectivity, and shared economic development through meaningful projects.
The foreign minister said since then, Pakistan had successfully moved forward this forum through a gradual, phased but consistent approach.
He said the United States and NATO forces had already started the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.
He said while the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan entailed serious security challenges, it also offered a unique opportunity for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan and moving the country from a perpetual internal conflict to an era of peace and stability.
“We should, therefore, explore how our three neighborly countries can work together to deal with the evolving situation in an effective manner and steer it towards achieving our shared objective of lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region,” he said.
The foreign minister said Pakistan, China and Afghanistan were located in a region which had immense opportunities for fostering mutually beneficial economic and development cooperation.
Our three geographically linked countries straddle historical routes traversing east-west and north-south, he added.
Qureshi said durable peace and stability in Afghanistan would lead to a conducive environment for harnessing the true potential of regional connectivity and further deepening economic inter-dependence through use of innovation and technological advances.
“Such an outcome will surely contribute to progress, welfare and better lives for the peoples of our countries,” he said.
Qureshi expressed the confidence that the deliberations of trilateral meeting on all the agenda items would be constructive, meaningful and result-oriented.
Qureshi thanked State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi for hosting the meeting and welcomed Afghanistan’s Foreign Minister Hanif Atmar for joining.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi says Pakistan has been making efforts for peace and stability in the region in the light of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision.
In a statement today (Thursday), he said our foremost priority is peace in Afghanistan.
Earlier, The Minister said a trilateral virtual meeting of Pakistan, China and Afghanistan is taking place today to discuss the Afghan issue.
He said Pakistan and China can play an important role for the reconstruction of Afghanistan after establishment of peace in the country.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi said geo-economic is a priority of our government and we want to make Pakistan hub of economic activities. In this regard, CPEC project and Gwadar Port will play an important role.