Pakistan to attend Afghanistan, China-US-Russia Consultation Mechanism meetings

Wang YI lauds China-Pakistan traditional friendship, cordial ties

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HUANGSHAN, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Tuesday arrived in China’s Huangshan city to participate in the third meeting of ‘Foreign Ministers of Neighboring Countries of Afghanistan’, being held on March 29-31.

On his arrival at the Huangshan International Airport, the foreign minister was received by senior officials of the Chinese government and Pakistan’s ambassador Moeen ul Haq.

Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood and Special Representative on Afghanistan Muhammad Sadiq accompanied FM Qureshi.

FM arrives in China to attend meeting on Afghanistan

The visit of the foreign minister is taking place at the invitation of State Councilor and Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi.

Besides attending the Neighbouring Countries Ministerial meeting, Foreign Minister Qureshi will interact with counterparts from participating countries.

It may be recalled that Pakistan had initiated the Neighbouring Countries format in September 2021 with a view to evolving a regional approach on the situation in Afghanistan.

Pakistan hosted the first meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Neighbouring Countries on September 8, 2021.

The Foreign Office said, “Pakistan fully supports a regional approach on Afghanistan for promoting durable peace and stability in the region”.

“Pakistan will continue to support the international community’s efforts to advance the shared objectives of a peaceful, stable, sovereign, prosperous, and connected Afghanistan,” it said.

China and Pakistan will carry forward their all-weather friendship, and their traditional friendship is unbreakable and rock solid, said Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

“The two countries also agreed to deepen all- China round cooperation, and China welcomes Pakistan’s deeper participation in China’s new development pattern,” he told Chinese the media after concluding his trips to Pakistan, Afghanistan, India and Nepal.

He mentioned that he has reached important new consensus with the Pakistani government and military leadership on deepening strategic cooperation between the two countries under the current international and regional circumstances.

The two countries vowed to safeguard international equity and justice, as well as agreed to practice true multilateralism, firmly oppose acts of bullying by powers, and resist the resurgence of the Cold War mentality, he was quoted by CGTN as saying.

Wang said his trip to South Asia came at a time when the spillover effect of the Ukraine crisis has been constantly spreading and world peace and development are facing new challenges.

The senior Chinese diplomat said China deeply felt the strong desire of South Asian countries to maintain the hard-won peace and tranquility in the region and accelerate post-pandemic economic recovery as well as their hope to strengthen strategic communication and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation with China.

The visit consolidated the traditional friendship between China and South Asian countries, enhanced mutual understanding, deepened strategic mutual trust, clarified key cooperation directions and areas, and gathered broad consensus on solidarity, coordination and common development under new circumstances, he added.

During his trip to Pakistan, Wang attended the Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the first time for a Chinese foreign minister to be invited for such a meeting, during which China and Islamic countries reached important consensus on a wide range of issues.

The two sides agreed to deepen strategic communication and coordination, continue to work in solidarity in fighting against COVID-19, deepen cooperation in vaccine production and medicine research and development, jointly build the Belt and Road with high quality, and strengthen communication and coordination on implementing the Global Development Initiative, Wang noted.

The two sides also agreed that it is of great urgency to promote a just settlement of regional hotspot issues and that the Palestinian question should not be forgotten or marginalized, he said, adding they both believe it is necessary to guide and promote the overall unity of developing countries, advocate true multilateralism, abandon the Cold War mentality, resist bloc confrontation and safeguard the common interests of developing countries.

His visit to Afghanistan has three main objectives, including renewing the traditional friendship between the two peoples, observing the administration of the Afghan interim government, and promoting mutual understanding and building a foundation of mutual trust with the Afghan side through face-to-face exchanges, Wang said.

The visit was intended to send a clear signal that the Afghan issue remains important on the current international peace and security agenda, especially for Afghanistan’s neighboring countries, said the Chinese foreign minister, urging all parties to shoulder their due responsibilities and play a constructive role in this respect.

In terms of China-India relations, Wang noted that the two countries are partners rather than rivals, and should help each other succeed instead of undercutting each other.

As mature and rational neighbors, China and India should place the border issue in an appropriate position in bilateral relations, and should not let it define or even hinder the overall development of bilateral relations, he said.

During his visit to India, Wang said he has most keenly felt that both sides agreed to adhere to the important consensus of “the two countries are not threats to each other but opportunities for each other’s development” reached by the two heads of state, properly solve practical problems of common concern, handle and manage differences over the years, and promote the steady and sustainable development of bilateral ties.

On his visit to Nepal, Wang said the two sides agreed that mutual understanding and support is not only a tradition of China-Nepal friendship, but also the underpinning of the strategic partnership of the two countries.

The two sides also agreed to speed up the construction of the Belt and Road, ensure smooth access of points of entry by land between the two countries, discuss cross-border cooperation and gradually establish a multi-dimensional trans-Himalayan connectivity network, he continued.

The two countries reiterated that they will uphold the principle of non-interference in internal affairs and the basic norms governing international relations, resist unilateralism and oppose power politics, Wang added.

Noting the spillovers of the Russia-Ukraine conflict have been rippling across the globe, Wang said the general consensuses of relevant countries are as follows: Disputes should be settled peacefully through dialogue, and neither war or sanctions are good ways.

The purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter should be upheld, and the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries should be safeguarded.

All countries should advocate the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, safeguard the right of all countries to pursue an independent foreign policy, oppose political pressure and forced side-taking, he continued, adding it is necessary to maintain the hard-won peace, stability and development in the region, resist the temptation to introduce bloc confrontation and create turbulence and tension in Asia.

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